Members of Congress have long trumpeted their success in getting home state projects funded. But this political season, analysts and candidates say that's not playing as well as it used to.
A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says: "Nobody in this environment is going to tout, 'Look at me spending."' Jennifer Crider says fewer candidates are touting their ability to procure "earmarks."
Instead an increasing number of candidates are swearing them off, complaining about out-of-control spending and a Capitol Hill culture that seems hooked on them.
Republican Senate candidate Mike Lee of Utah says "pork spending" has become a "political lubricant" that has created a federal government that's too big and too expensive, but keeps growing.
Still, opinion polls continue to suggest a majority of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who manages to get local projects funded.