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I-Team tracks big money being spent to influence Florida election outcomes

Campaign reports show huge spending in final weeks
Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 17:57:55-05

TAMPA, Fla. — In addition to the big number of voters going to the polls this year, there's also big money being spent in the mid-term elections.

We've been looking through the latest campaign finance reports and discovered plenty of people contributed millions of dollars to try to influence your vote.

In the big money race for Florida Governor, campaign finance reports show Andrew Gillum's campaign and Ron DeSantis' campaign in a virtual tie.

Gillum edged DeSantis by a small margin.

Gillum’s contributions totaled $18,252,795 as of November 1st.

DeSantis raised $18,172,127.

There was a big difference in spending though.

Records show Gillum outspent DeSantis by more than $2.4 Million.

Gillum’s campaign reported spending of $13,603,440.

DeSantis’ campaign reported $11,147,975.

Campaign records show Gillum spent nearly twice as much on advertising as DeSantis and had nearly three times as many donors.

In the Florida Attorney General campaign, which has two candidates from Tampa,  Republican Ashley Moody raised more $5,224,936, compared to $2,757,376.

Campaign spending records show that through November 1st, Moody outspent Shaw by a nearly 10-to-1 margin.

Moody’s campaign reported spending $3,955,582 compared to $410,850 for Shaw’s campaign.

Records show outside groups contributed more than $86 Million to try to influence Florida's U.S. Senate race.

Almost all went to pay for negative ads.

Outside spend attributed to Nelson’s campaign amounted to $50,320,024, but the majority of that money…. $31,533,230… was spent opposing him.

The New Republican PAC, a super PAC aimed at electing Rick Scott, spent $29,525,330 on negative advertising against Nelson.

Outside spending involving the Scott campaign totaled $36,232,207. Of that, $35,680,128 was spent to oppose Scott.

The Senate Majority PAC, aimed at electing Democratic Senate Candidates, contributed $15,770,579 to that total.

In those races, about half of the money was spent since October first, which explains all those TV ads, social media messages, and flyers you've received in the mail in the last few weeks.

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