No matter how much Kathy Dahlkemper spent, there might have been no way to win her reelection bid over upstart Mike Kelly.
Meanwhile fellow Western Pa Democrat Jason Altmire had to empty out almost all of his warchest to hold off fellow GOP newcomer Keith Rothfus.
A look at the post-election reports filed last week by congressional candidates shows Dahlkemper spent $1.93 million during her failed reelection bid, almost double that of Butler Republican Kelly, who spent $1.17 million during the cycle (which included a no-holds-barred primary fight). Dahlkemper also paid back $127,000 in personal loans to her campaign, which is not reflected in the expenditure total.
Altmire had a huge fundraising edge in his run for a third term, and the suburban Pittsburgh Dem needed it all down the stretch. He spent $2.5 million and ended November with only $25,000 in the bank. Rothfus, his GOP opponent, spent nearly $1.2 million and ended the contest with $18,900 on-hand. (The Edgeworth attorney has nearly $192,000 outstanding in personal loans to his campaign.)
Altmire barely scraped by -- taking 50.8% of the vote to Rothfus' 49.2 -- and fellow Democrat Mark Critz won reelection by the exact same (tiny) margin. The former Jack Murtha aide far outspent Washington County businessman Tim Burns to keep his 12th District seat.
Critz spent $1.1 million during the year and $383,000 in the last few weeks of the race, ending with a mere $6,400. Burns spent $631,804 during the year and $345,749 during its last weeks. He ended it with $11,943 in cash, and still has $221,000 in outstanding personal loans to the campaign.
Forest Hills Democrat Mike Doyle did not face a serious challenge from Tea Party Republican Melissa Haluszczak given his party's mighty registration edge in the Pittsburgh-centric 14th District, but he still spent $677,555 (much of it going out the door to help other Democrats, with $25K going to the DCCC and $10,000 to gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato). He still had a relatively fat $140,763 cash balance when it was over.
Haluszczak spent $60,845 during the year and ended the campaign with $4,256 in cash.
Upper St. Clair Republican Tim Murphy ended up with the biggest cushion -- $428,484 on hand, after spending $1.2 million to fend off Democrat Dan Connolly. Like Doyle, his 18th District race was not a close one, and a good deal of the spending (including a $100,000 check to the NRCC) went to fellow Republicans. Connolly spent $246,000 and ended the period with $31,827 in cash.