Top 5 Super PACs in the 2012 Presidential Race
Super PACs such as Restore Our Future give Republicans like Romney a campaign edge.
Accomplishments. Endorsements. Voting Records.
These three factors can draw voters to the polls in support of a candidate, prompt them to vote for the opposition or to simply stay at home. But this formula alone doesn’t make or break a political campaign. Of course, there’s also the almighty dollar. Since July 2010, the role of money in campaigns has shifted. Then a federal court ruling in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission allowed for the formation of Super PACs. What exactly are these new types of political action committees? Nonpartisan research group the Center for Responsive Politics spells it out:
“Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis…as a traditional PAC would.”
Super PACs can’t contribute money directly to a candidate for office, but the fact that there’s no cap on the amount of money they spend to get politicians elected more than makes up for it. Here’s a look at five of the most influential Super PACs in the nation and the 2012 presidential candidates they’re putting their weight behind.
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Restore Our Future: We all know Mitt Romney’s rich, but with this Super PAC behind him, the Republican presidential candidate has even deeper pockets. Restore Our Future has raised $36,797,202, more than any other Super PAC. But given the fact that Romney’s foes have threatened his frontrunner status throughout the 2012 campaign, the committee has already spent $28,245,585.
Winning Our Future: Although this Super PAC has raised more money than the rest, with the exception of Restore Our Future, Newt Gingrich’s campaign remains on life support. Since he won the South Carolina Primary on Jan. 21, it’s all been downhill for the former speaker of the House. What’s worse is that while Winning Our Future has raised $13,114,797, it has spent more than that — $14,363,491. Ouch.
Priorities USA Action: This Super PAC supports President Barack Obama. Although it has raised just $4,459,431, significantly less than the Super PACs behind Romney and Gingrich, the good news is that it has also spent significantly less—just $611,766.
Endorse Liberty: Ron Paul has yet to win one primary or caucus, but this Super PAC has raised more funds for him than the group that supports Rick Santorum, who actually managed to become the Republican frontrunner after sweeping three contests on Feb. 7. Endorse Liberty has brought in $3,396,997, but it has spent $61, 437 more.
Red, White & Blue: Rick Santorum has emerged as the only Republican presidential candidate capable of knocking Romney out of the lead over a sustained period of time. That’s quite a feat considering the Super PAC behind him has only raised $2,817,675, less than any other candidate. The group has also spent way more than it has brought in—$4,959,814. Considering that Santorum has become a viable choice to win the Republican nomination, Red, White & Blue’s decision to go in the red for the right-wing Santorum actually seems like a sound choice.