The 2010 election is seeing an unusual number of deep-pocketed newcomers step into the ring, self-financing their own campaigns. Of the $657 million raised so far by all candidates, 11% came from their own pockets, Politico reports, up from 6% in 2006. Among Republican House candidates, that number jumps to 35%. The surge is in part because these newcomers sense an opportunity for a Republican wave, and in part because of active recruiting from the parties.
Republicans, after being outspent in the past few cycles, purposely sought out rich candidates, snagging the likes of Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina, and Meg Whitman. (Check out how much Whitman’s thrown around here.) Of course, self-funded candidates have a history of failure, and some candidates have more money/more problems syndrome. Fiorina’s been criticized for her $42 million golden parachute, and McMahon’s been haunted by WWE scandals.