Outside Groups' Contribution Levels Schauer-Walberg Spending Disparity, Analyst Says

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

It's down to the wire for Democrat Mark Schauer and Republican Tim Walberg in their race for michigan's 7th district congressional seat.

"It's anywhere from four points down to dead even to four points up," said EPIC-MRA president Bernie Porn.

Porn says it could be the highest spending congressional distrcit race in the country. Fundraising figures show through september, Schauer raised nearly $2.8 million with more than a million in cash on hand. Compare that to Walberg's $1.3 million with around $450,000 in cash. But that's not the whole story.

"You have outside groups spending a tremendeous amount on each of the respective candidates," he said.

Porn says while those outside groups even the playing field in terms of spending, they're doing something else, too.

"Campaign ads almost can have the effect of supressing turnout because it is so negative," he added.

And those outside groups don't have to disclose where they get their money, blurring the picture for undecided voters.

"I believe the ads are very untruthful and it's making it very difficult to decide on the best candidate," said Amy Whisler, an Eaton County resident.

The Schauer Campaign says it understands voters' frustration with the ads. In a statement, they said: "Mark believes voters have a right to know who's trying to influence our elections, and he will continue pushing for legislation requiring these special interest groups to disclose their donors."

We tried, but could not reach the Walberg Campaign for comment Sunday.

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