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Florida Has the Most Expensive Midterm Election in the U.S.

As ever, Florida is at the center of Election Day for dubious reasons. This time around, it's basically because no other state has spent more on elections this year than the Sunshine State.

All told, the 2014 election cycle has raised a whopping $345 million, reports the Miami Herald.

And according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Florida's has been the most expensive midterm election in the U.S.

The Center for Public Integrity estimates that $93.7 million was spent on TV ads alone during this election cycle.

The governor's race has been especially bloated in donations and spending, with Charlie Crist and Rick Scott raising nearly $100 million combined.

An estimated $22 million was spent on negative ads against Charlie Crist, while $15.3 was spent attacking Rick Scott. And according to campaign reports, Scott and his wife threw $12.8 million of their own money into the race, prompting Crist to scoff at their donations.

"This is nuclear. It's unbelievable," Crist told the Associated Press on Friday. "More than a presidential election. It is absolutely absurd. He obviously thinks he can buy Florida again, and I don't think that's going to happen."

Scott, by the way, spent $70 million of his own money when he first ran in 2010.

Scott also got some big checks from places like Walt Disney ($9,000), AT&T ($15,000), and the Florida Healthcare Association ($9,000), to name a few.

And all those ads attacking Crist you kept seeing during the World Series came from the Rick Scott PAC "Let's Get to Work," which spent $10.8 million on TV ads. The two even ran back-to-back attack ads during the televised CNN debate between Scott and Crist.

Crist, meanwhile, got checks cut by United Teachers of Dade ($12,000), Florida Police Benevolent Association ($9,000), and Omnicare Medical ($4,000).

USA Today reports that around $2.2 million has been spent by the National Republican Congressional Committee, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Environmental Defense Action Fund, and Food Policy Action spent $3.1 million.

Then there's the fight for and against medical marijuana.

Sheldon Anderson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and vehement opponent of Amendment 2, spent nearly $7.5 million of his own money to try to kill the medical marijuana initiative with ads and the No on 2 campaign.

Drug Free Florida spent $3.9 million on TV ads alone, while United for Care put in $828,800 in TV ads.

And these are just the larger races.

"Money always speaks," Susan MacManus, political science professor at the University of South Florida, who runs the Sunshine State Survey of voters opinions, told the Herald.

We're about to see how true that is.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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