'Vital Statistics' on Congress Members Shows Increase in Cost Per Seat

For over 30 years the joint venture between Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Tom Mann of The Brookings Institution has provided a ‘Vital Statistics’ report on congressional fundraising.

This comprehensive look at congress covers 8 chapters. The study spans a wide breadth of topics from polarization to the decline in legislative productivity.

According to data compiled by Michael J. Malbin of the campaign finance institute, the average cost of a congressional seat has increased significantly. In 2002 the average Senate seat cost $4,758,737 to win election. That has grown to $10,351,556 in 2012. Similarly the an average House of Representatives seat cost $1,163,499 in 2002. Last election, an average representative needed to raise $1,596,953 to win a House seat.