Has all the Election Day hype left you high on democracy? Here’s a sobering stat from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics:

In 94 percent of House of Representatives races and 69 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day today, the candidate who spent the most money won, according to a post-election analysis. …

The biggest spender was victorious in 398 of 425 decided House races and 22 of 32 decided Senate races. On Election Day 2004, top spenders won 98 percent of House races and 88 percent of Senate races.

What’s the price of public office these days?

The average cost of winning a 2006 House race was about $960,000, based on pre-election finance reports, and $7.8 million for a Senate seat.

Money has always been a factor in the American political system, but it seems that some Americans are starting to become more concerned about its negative side effects.

In national exit polls, voters said corruption and ethics in government were extremely important factors in their vote, outranking (by a small margin) terrorism, the economy, Iraq and illegal immigration.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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