Spending records shattered
In an election where Democrats had out-raised Republicans by about $250 million, outside conservative groups, armed with $187 million, were able to successfully leverage that money to produce results for the GOP. The midterms shattered spending records for a nonpresidential contest (likely providing a blueprint for the frenzy to come when the White House is up for grabs in two years).
$270M Amount independent groups have reported spending so far, but that number does not include tens of millions of dollars more not disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. Much of the money has been spent by nonprofit groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that do not have to reveal where they got the money.
$32M Amount spent by the U.S. chamber, at its last accounting. The group had said it planned to spend well over $50 million during the 2010 cycle.
$40M Amount spent by American Crossroads and its nonprofit sister group, Crossroads GPS, founded with support from GOP strategist Karl Rove.
$12M Amount spent by top independent Democratic group, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
$4B Amount the Center for Responsive Politics research group estimates that total spending for 2010 could hit, with outside expenditures accounting for 10 to 12 percent of that.
Young voters don't show
Young voters apparently haven't seen enough hope and change since 2008 to be motivated. Voters under 30, who overwhelmingly voted for President Barack Obama two years ago, not only showed up in much lower numbers on Tuesday, but were also less willing to strongly support Democrats. Exit polls show:
11 Percentage of the electorate made up by voters ages 18 to 29 on Tuesday.
18 Percentage of electorate in 2008 made up of voters 18 to 29.
1 in 5 voters were 18 to 29 in 2008.
1 in 10 California voters between those ages voted on Tuesday.