The Numbers Behind Ohio's Expensive U.S. Senate Race, Explained in Three Charts

What the candidates have raised and spent in the nation’s most expensive primary campaign

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
The U.S. Capitol Building

The cutthroat battle to become Ohio’s next U.S. senator is shaping up to be the most expensive campaign in the country. Here are a few financial data points that capture the competitiveness and unique dynamics of the primary contests, which were still scheduled for May 3 despite the contentious legal wrangling over the state’s redistricting process.  

Register to Vote in Ohio:Deadline for the August Special Election is July 5.

Mike Gibbons, Matt Dolan, Tim Ryan are the top fundraisers

Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons was the top GOP fundraiser in 2021, thanks to an $11.4 million donation he gave to his own campaign. On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has raised nearly 10 times as much money as his rival, Columbus attorney Morgan Harper. 

Republican candidates with the most money are self-funded

How the Ohio campaign compares to Senate races in other states

Other quick fundraising and spending facts

$10 million provided by tech billionaire Peter Thiel to Protect Ohio Values, a PAC supporting the candidacy of “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance 

$23.9 million in total TV and radio spending (including future reservations) in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary, according to Medium Buying, a Columbus ad buying and tracking company 

Sources: Federal Election Commission, OpenSecrets.org 

This story is from the April 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.