Since January 1, 161,203 ads have aired targeting Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They cost a total of $65 million, a record-breaking figure, according to CNN. That managed to topple Pelosi's majority, if not her leadership. Money was less effective elsewhere.
Commissioned by CNN, the Campaign Media Analysis Group crunched the numbers and found that although Democrats ran against Gingrich in 1996, back then "election spending represented about a third of what is spent now, so it's possible as a percentage the total spent against Gingrich would be similar to that spent against Pelosi."
But anyone running against Pelosi had particular ammunition: the president of CMAG added that Pelosi "image was used in a negative way in a unprecedented scale." Whyever would that work so well? We've said it before and we'll say it again: Nothing terrifies the "I want my country back" crowd quite so much as the prospect of a San Francisco woman and a foreign-sounding black man running the show.
About half the $65 million came from campaigns, $22 million came from independent groups, and $8 million came from the RNC.
Some of these ads got pretty creative. There was the notorious "wicked witch" ad that Pelosi's opponent in her district (who never had a chance) ran this year:
Here's an ad aired in a Pennsylvania congressional district by a right-wing PAC.
Even Democrats in conservative districts ran against Pelosi. Witness Bobby Bright, congressman from Alabama.
Speaking of money in politics, two women spent the most per vote in the midterm elections, and both of them lost. Sharron Angle spent $97 per vote, according to a new analysis, and though she came close, her own nuttery prevented her from besting Harry Reid. Linda McMahon spent around the same, almost all of it her own money. Meg Whitman's $140 million would have put her on the list had not California's population skewed the results.