The U.S. Senate Race between Republican Matt Rosendale and Democrat Jon Tester is now the most expensive political race in Montana history. Data specialist Brendan Glavin with the National Institute on Money in Politics has been counting the cash.

"The reports that have been filed by the candidates cover through the 17th of October and, as of that point, the two candidates had raised a combined $22 million and spent, at that time, about $21.4 million, that's the candidate side of it. The other side, which is pretty important is independent spending. As of this morning [October 29], there is $32.2 million spent in independent expenditures on the senate race and that's just in the general election, that doesn't count the primary."

Interestingly, the spending by the candidates this year, is nearly identical to the spending during the prior most expensive race in Montana, which was the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Tester and Republican Denny Rehberg.

"When you start talking about a record amount, you go back to the last Tester race, the candidate spending was about the same, it ended up at about $22 million spent by the candidates, but the independent spending was only $24 million for the whole thing, Glavin said. "So,we still have a week to go and they've already exceeded what spent on independent expenditures in 2012, they've already exceeded that by eight million dollars. In Montana the top spenders are SMP, which used to known as the Senate Majority Project: a Democratic Super Pac"

The most expensive race in U.S. history is going on right now in Texas, where Democrat Beto O’Rourke has raised over 60 million dollars alone for his campaign against Senator Ted Cruz.

Montana may set a record when it comes to the amount spent per vote though: if voter turnout this year is the same as it was during the presidential election of 2016 (there were 281,863 votes cast), the total spent on advertising will be well over $200 per vote.

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