According to BBC News, fundraising and spending in US mid-term elections has reached a new record of $2 billion. That translates into roughly $4 million for each seat up for grabs.

With only one week before mid-term elections in the US decide the balance of power in the House of Representatives and the Senate, campaigning has reached a fever pitch.

The amount of money being spent in this election is notable because outside groups can now contribute large amounts of money without disclosing their donors. This is the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that effectively eliminated most of the restrictions on corporate donations to election campaigns.

Brian Montopli had this to say on the outside money in an article for CBS News:

“Much of the outside money is going to close the fundraising gap between Democratic incumbents and their Republican challengers. When GOP candidates can’t afford to match their incumbent Democratic opponents in campaign spending, outside groups run ads attacking the Democrats on their behalf. Their goal is to push enough marginal seats into their party’s column to ensure control of the House.”

One of the new ‘big money’ players in the US election process is Karl Rove’s brainchild American Crossroads. The organization essentially takes money from private donors and deploys it in the most effective way possible for the GOP to win more seats.

The Washington Post Blog has a useful rundown of the campaigns being run by special interest groups.

The Los Angeles Times carried a piece highlighting liberal concerns that foreign money has been mixed into the huge influx of anonymous donations.