North Carolina is well on its way to claiming a record for the most expensive U.S. Senate race in American history.
Republican incumbent Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham have spent a combined total of more than $233 million on advertising. Some of their contributions came from outside the campaign, funds that are called dark money.
Tillis made a stop in Henderson County on Friday to rally about 30 volunteers, who heard about his recovery from a bout with COVID-19 and what he’ll do if he’s re-elected.
This is the grassroots approach to winning votes. Then there’s the big money game funded by political action committees.
In this race, outside donors have added a total of $141 million to what the candidates had already spent.
"I actually feel like we should figure out a better way to have campaigns supported and get rid of a lot of the dark money," Senator Tillis said.
"They call it dark money for a reason. It’s harder to follow, it’s harder to track," Western Carolina University Political Science and Public Affairs Department head Chris Cooper said.
Professor Cooper says Congressional races always lead to a great deal of fundraising by both parties, but that 2020 is different by a long-shot.