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Outside Spending

A January 2010 Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) permits corporations and unions to make political expenditures from their treasuries directly and through other organizations, as long as the spending -- often in the form of TV ads -- is done independently of any candidate. In many cases, the activity takes place without complete or immediate disclosure about who is funding it, preventing voters from understanding who is truly behind many political messages. The spending figures cited are what the groups reported to the FEC; it does not account for all the money the groups spent, since certain kinds of ads are not required to be reported. See more on the reporting rules regarding outside spending.

Total by Type of Spender, 2012 (so far)

Type of GroupTotal Spent# of Groups
Registered
# of Groups
Spending to date
Super PACs:$621,965,7471,303256
Parties:$223,409,09610850
Others (Corporations, unions,
individual people, other groups, etc):
$415,140,350633518
Grand Total:$1,260,515,1932,044824

Outside Spending by Cycle thru February 16th of election year, Excluding Party Committees

Chart

Click here to learn more

Top Groups, Excluding Party Committees, 2012

Organization Total View* Independent
Expenditures
Elec
Comm
Comm
Costs
Super
PAC
527s 501c
American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS $175,706,789 C $175,400,270 $306,519 $0 x x
Restore Our Future $132,174,589 C $132,174,589 $0 $0 x
Priorities USA Action $65,205,743 L $65,205,743 $0 $0 x
Majority PAC $38,152,864 L $38,152,864 $0 $0 x
Americans for Prosperity $36,352,928 C $33,542,051 $2,810,877 $0 x
VIEW ALL GROUPS

* C = Conservative, L = Liberal
Indicates that this organization has a 527 committee registered with the IRS. The committee's 527 spending outside of electioneering communications is NOT included in these totals. Read more about 527s.

Top Races, Excluding Party Committees, 2012

RaceTotalFor DemsAgainst DemsFor RepubsAgainst Repubs
Presidential $559,043,824 $31,388,875 $283,547,708 $96,127,546 $136,650,746
Virginia Senate $37,436,750 $2,499,897 $22,240,570 $1,908,017 $10,788,266
Wisconsin Senate $32,286,116 $2,930,153 $9,967,576 $3,676,391 $13,822,858
Ohio Senate $30,365,820 $2,603,936 $15,586,134 $5,632,999 $6,323,984
Indiana Senate $23,461,205 $218,602 $8,385,394 $4,304,451 $9,311,758
VIEW ALL RACES
Our math: Why don't the numbers add up?

Top Candidates, Excluding Party Committees, 2012

CandidateRaceTotalFor DemsAgainst DemsFor RepubsAgainst RepubsResults
Obama, Barack (D) PRES $325,155,878 $31,387,935 $283,547,708 $0 $0 Winner
Romney, Mitt (R) PRES $159,384,160 $0 $0 $62,514,051 $96,313,373 Lost
Gingrich, Newt (R) PRES $32,453,225 $0 $0 $13,611,023 $18,842,202 Lost in primary
Santorum, Rick (R) PRES $28,983,703 $0 $0 $7,650,536 $21,333,167
Kaine, Tim (D) VAS1 $24,740,467 $2,499,897 $22,240,570 $0 $0 Winner
VIEW ALL CANDIDATES

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