When John Kerry (D-MA) left the Senate to become the Secretary of State, it opened up the seat for a special election, and as is often the case in such situations, it gave national influence organizations an unusual opportunity to spend some of their money, of which many of them took advantage.
According to TalkingPointMemo, more than $12M dollars has been spent in the contest matching up Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) with Republican Gabriel Gomez, and about 38% of that total has come from outside sources.
Both of the congressional PACs, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have contributed identical amounts — $45,400 to be exact, making up a small portion of the outside spending.
Markey has benefitted from $3.1M according to FEC reports cited by TPM, with cash coming from the League of Conservation Voters and the NextGen Committee.
Gomez meanwhile has picked up $2.2M in outside support, from organizations such as Committee for a Better Massachusetts and Americans for Progressive Action.
RBR-TVBR observation: Most of the polling we’ve seen has shown Markey with a sizable lead, not at all surprising in one of the most heavily Democratic state in the US. So even though this race is the only game going on at the moment, most wise PACs do not throw away cash unnecessarily, and as such, most of the big players who were extremely active in 2012 are not mentioned as players in this race.
Had Gomez been able to keep the race closer, the political windfall would have been significantly higher than the $12M being reported.