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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is mistaken about her expenses for the race in Georgia



In the mid-term elections of 2018, the Democrats managed to seize more than three dozen seats in the House held by Republicans. One of them was the 6th Georgian district, where Democratic challenger Lucy McBath beat Republican incumbent Karen Handel.

The victory of McBath's operculum – in part because of the frustration of Atlanta's suburban constituents in the face of gun violence – caught the attention of Democratic newcomer Democratic freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. who herself was angry. During the primary, Ocasio-Cortez overthrew a high-ranking Democrat in a district of New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted November 19th:

Lucy McBath is a heroine who, after losing her son as a result of armed violence, went to Congress against her incumbent NRA, and was previously a flight attendant. was outmatched 5-1, but she continued to run with her conviction she won.Flipped.AGG-06 upset.Nobody saw her coming. "

In fact, the spending differential was not as big as Ocasio-Cortez said – and once outside groups' expenses were taken into account, McBath had the advantage.

The reason: As originally stated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ocasio-Cortez's declaration combines money not only with the match between Handel and McBath, but also with the very expensive special elections of 2017 in which Handel defeated the democrat Jon Ossoff. (Ocasio-Cortez staff did not respond to a request for information regarding this article.)

Special election or general election

We looked at the 6th page of Georgia on the Campaign Financing Data Website, OpenSecrets.org, and found that for the 2018 election cycle, Handel had spent $ 7.99 million and McBath, 1 , 23 million dollars. This is a ratio of 6.5: 1 in favor of Handel. (The amount that each candidate collected – rather than spent – was closer to the 5-to-1 handel edge that Ocasio-Cortez had tweeted on.)

However, Handel's total was artificially inflated by the difficult and expensive battle she fought against a siege against Ossoff the year before. This earlier race officially counts as part of the 2018 election cycle, which spans two years.

Sarah Bryner, research director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs OpenSecrets.org, said her website is organized in this way, as the Federal Electoral Commission compiles the data.

"It's not really possible to isolate spending figures and fundraisers for specific periods," Bryner said.

Fundraising of the candidate

We estimated the amount of the McBath-Handel race based on what Journal-Constitution reported on the dollars spent and collected during the special election.

In July 2017, the newspaper reported that Handel had raised $ 6.3 million for the special election, including $ 430,000 for the 2018 general election.

This means that Handel has raised $ 1.69 million specifically for general elections. If you add the $ 430,000 that she withheld from the special election, that equates to about $ 2.12 million.

McBath raised $ 1.79 million for general elections. So, depending on how you treat Handel's $ 430,000, she either slightly outperformed McBath or was moderately overestimated by McBath. Be that as it may, the two candidates' fundraising was on an equal footing, not a 5-to-1 advantage for Handel.

Candidate and external expenses

We can also estimate the amount spent by each candidate, which is how Ocasio-Cortez wrote his tweet.

Handel ended the general election with $ 402,000 left in the bank. By subtracting this from the money she had available for the general election, she actually spent $ 1.72 million. That's more than $ 1.22 million spent by McBath, but the difference is even smaller than what Ocasio-Cortez had tweeted – a ratio of about 1.4 to 1 in favor of Handel.

But even this is misleading on overall spending patterns in the race, because these numbers include only the dollars spent by the campaigns themselves, not by outside groups lined up with one candidate or another.

If outside groups are taken into account, McBath had a considerable advantage in terms of spending compared to Handel.

We asked the Center for Responsive Politics to break down the external expenditures of the 6th Georgian district. They only calculated contributions paid after June 20, 2017, date of the second special round.

The groups that supported Handel or opposed McBath spent $ 1.6 million. In contrast, groups supporting McBath or opposing Handel spent close to $ 4.9 million.

According to the Journal Constitution, Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group affiliated with the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, was the largest buyer allied to McBath, allocating 4.5 million dollars to the race. The main external expense of the group on behalf of Haendel, the Republican Congress National Committee, has spent $ 1.4 million.

Thus, the benefit of external expenditures for McBath was in fact less than the benefit of potential expenses for Handel. This seriously compromises the purpose of Ocasio-Cortez's tweet.

Our decision

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that McBath "was overtaken 5-1" in his race against Handel.

Even looking only at the money of the candidates, Handel did not exceed 1.4 for 1 in fundraising and expenses. And once you include the expenses of outside groups, it is McBath who has had the benefit.

We note the False statement.


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