November 3, 2010: Tuesday's election will be remembered not only for the historic losses by the Democratic Party in the House, but also the unprecedented amount of outside spending that poured into races, thanks to the Supreme Court's landmark Citizen United decision. Indeed, Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen attributed the GOP wave in part to the "record amount of secret money spent by right-wing outside groups turned this political storm into a category 3 political hurricane."
A new report from watchdog group Public Citizen largely bears out this observation that powerful independent expenditures may have played a significant role. Out of 74 contests in which power changed hands on Tuesday, outside spending benefited the winner in 58 races. Just 14 of the losing candidates received more help than their opponents from these groups.