January 24th, 2012
12:06 PM ET
3 months ago

Super PAC presidential spending surpasses $35 million

(CNN) - Super PACs have spent $35.4 million on the 2012 presidential race, according to federal campaign disclosures, including $11.4 million on last Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary and $6.4 million on next week's contest in Florida.

More than half of the spending by these political organizations has focused on the ongoing war of words between supporters of leading GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Restore Our Future, a group supporting Romney, has spent $11.7 million, compared to $7.7 million for Winning Our Future, a group that supports Gingrich.

Follow the Robert Yoon on Twitter: @robyoon

An overwhelming majority of the two groups' spending has been in opposition to the other candidate, rather than in support of their own. The pro-Romney super PAC has spent 92% of its expenditures attacking Gingrich, while 79% of the pro-Gingrich group's spending has focused on attacking Romney.

Gingrich continues to be the most popular target of super PAC attacks. Groups, primarily Restoring Our Future, have spent $10.8 million attacking him, while Romney has been the target of $7.5 million worth of attacks.

Conservative super PACs have spent more than $600,000 attacking President Obama over the past year in anticipation of the general election contest. Similarly, Democratic-leaning groups have also weighed in on the Republican presidential primary contest. The labor union AFSCME reported spending $1 million last week on a TV ad buy in Florida attacking Romney.

Super PACs, which were created following a pair of federal court decisions in 2010, are permitted to receive unlimited campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individual donors. Traditional federal political action committees and candidate campaign committees may only receive limited contributions from individuals, political parties, and other political action committees. Under federal law, candidates and super PACs are not permitted to coordinate campaign activity.

Also see:

Gingrich close to 'money bomb' goal

Gingrich lands Fred Thompson endorsement

New year, old fights in Congress


Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    our govt for sale to the highest bidder – thank you to the conservative Roberts Court.

    January 24, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. John

    These Republican don't want to pay a little more In taxes to help the Country that got them Rich. But they are willing to spend million on these President Candidate. And Most of It just a waste of money because In the End only one of them are going to win. And some of them are spending there money on a man that really shouldn't even be able to run for President. Because If you are kick out of Congress or the Senate for any reason , that you shouldn't be able to run president.

    January 24, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think that the extreme wealthy know that the republican gravy train and republican policy of monetary division and class warfare could all be over if Mittens is not elected. The Kochs alone made over $6 billion more in profits last year (over $25 billion together) and they are willing to spend millions to preserve it.

    January 24, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "The pro-Romney super PAC has spent 92% of its expenditures attacking Gingrich, while 79% of the pro-Gingrich group's spending has focused on attacking Romney."

    This, while both candidates decry the influence of SuperPACs.

    January 24, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Conservative super PACs have spent more than $600,000 attacking President” waste of money

    First they need a candidate who can beat Obama still conservative group looking for a candidate that is pathetic

    January 24, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Phil in KC

    That is disgusting and appalling.

    January 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    God I LOVE freedom of speech!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    America is a great country. I just hope the leftists don't take control of the courts and take away our right to speak.

    January 24, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. obama victim

    and Barry is planning on spending one BILLION on his propagnda mission....questions????

    January 24, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Why do the Democrats and leftists hate free speech so much???? Their inferior, failed message perhaps???

    January 24, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. R

    "Super PAC presidential spending surpasses $35 million."

    So what? I'm sure President Obama will spend that much on campaining, if not more, and I'm sure none of you will be upset or angry over that.

    It sure would be nice to see both parties do something more constructive with that kind of money, but I won't hold my breath on that.

    January 24, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. B

    Do you really want someone like Romney in charge of your future ?

    One of the richest people walking and could care less about your daily problems tying to make ends meet!

    He is the reason for -Occupy the streets- all over this country.

    They only are interested in Power and Money.

    January 24, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Baffled

    ... where is the commentary about Obama's fundraising figures. Better yet, how about some perspective on how much was spent in the '08 elections.

    Figures like these look repulsive on their own, but I can almost gurantee the Dems are just as guilty for wasteful campaign funding/spending.

    January 24, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The decision put more money in when we need less money in the political process. We need people of integrity to run, but their problem is that they have no money to run. Isn't it ashame that people need money to run? I don't think that our founding fathers would have liked this development.

    January 24, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. WiredweirdinSF

    Only half of what the limousine liberal and former fraud in cheif, Bill Clinton, made.

    January 24, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Lizzie

    John, neither do the democrats, how about Geither or Randle pay their back taxes, how about Buffets company pay what they owe the IRS.
    WIre Palladin, so tell us who are the POOR people who can afford a $35000 plate fundraiser. Must be terrible to be that poor.

    January 24, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. logicnLA

    Thank you Supreme Court. Can someone point out to me where inthe Constitution it says that corporations are people? Isn't that their job- to uphold the Constitution? that's right- there were no corporations in 1776. Go on Republicans- tell us again about judges the make laws from the bench.
    35 million dollars worth of unaccountable lies- from both sides. How American!

    January 24, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Gurgi

    @Lizzie, but you have to understand that there are two sets of standards, one set for the liberal democrats, and another set of standards for everyone else.

    January 24, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |