Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2022

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Sanjay Paul and Dr. Fletcher McClellan


Outside spending in American politics has become increasingly significant as a small number of groups are influencing elections for millions of people. Since these political nonprofits are allowed to take unlimited amounts of donations, they overpower small donors, taking away the average citizen’s voice. Before the 2000s, outside spending only accounted for 1% of total election spending. In the next decade, outside spending would rise to 9% of total election spending. When Citizens United was passed in 2010, spending by outside groups multiplied.

It is important to study the impact of outside spending in the 2020 Georgia Senate Elections because the elections determined the fate of Congress for at least the next two years. Spending is increasing with each election and becoming harder to track. The study will rely on primary and secondary sources, with a major data and news source being OpenSecrets.

This research aims to provide insight into the increasing amounts of outside spending in the Georgia 2020 Senate elections. The results of the research were that Democrats dominated dark money and candidate spending in Georgia. However, since total Republican spending was higher than the Democrats in Georgia, spending did not have a significant role in the outcome of the election. Due to outside factors like free media and activists like Stacey Abrahams, outside spending did not give either side an advantage.


Honors in the Discipline; Scholarship and Creative Arts Day (SCAD);

Spring 2022 -- 22nd Annual Business Student Conference in Business and Economics