Despite a mostly successful 2020 election cycle in which Democrats gained the Presidency and Senate, they somewhat unexpectedly lost a number of seats in the House, leaving them with the smallest majority in two decades. As has mostly been the case across the board, Democrats did not suffer from a spending disadvantage. They outspent their GOP counterparts by $150M, $672M to $519M. This is actually a slightly larger spending advantage than they enjoyed during their 2018 wave, where they picked up 41 seats. While President Trump's presence at the top of the ticket seems to have been a benefit, it seems as though GOP messaging was more effective than it was in 2018. GOP candidates and issue groups ran $40M in television ads containing explicit "law and order" themes, compared to only $15M from Democratic candidates and issue groups. They were successful in the races that contained the most messaging on those themes.

The 2020 cycle saw a record-setting twelve House races surpass $20M in spending, a 50% increase over the previous high set in 2018. 48 House races

More from the Cook Political Report