Voters vs. cash: Races could be turned by out-of-state money

Ad surges give warped reflection of true support

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The Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has spent $2.3 million opposing Mr. Mandel in Ohio, $300,000 opposing Senate candidate Rick Berg in North Dakota, and $800,000 supporting Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, even though records show it hasn’t received any money from those states this year, except for $5,000 from an Ohio union.

The PAC is funded largely by Hollywood figures such as Haim Saban, creator of the Power Rangers, New York lawyers, and Washington-based unions.

In Massachusetts, where Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown is trying to fend off Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, the race has largely been funded from out of state.

Mrs. Warren has received 56 percent of her funds from outside Massachusetts, compared with 45 percent for Mr. Brown.

Part of the attraction for out-of-state donors is that each of these races could determine control of a chamber in Congress. They aren’t worried so much about the pork lawmakers bring home to their constituents as they are the broader national issues such as spending, taxes and war.

Still, for Mrs. Jacobs, the Maryland state senator, whether a candidate has constituents’ support is what should determine whether that person should be the one casting that vote.

“I’ve got my checks here in front of me, and I only have nine from out of state, and four are from the same people,” she said. “And one’s from my niece in Florida.”

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