rom a Campaign Finance Institute release:
The important role played so far by Super PACs during the Republican presidential nomination contests has been well documented and widely analyzed. This release will focus on the two leading fundraisers of 2011 – President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney. The financial fortunes of the other candidates and their related Super PACs are detailed in the tables available below.
President Obama raised $20 million more in primary campaign receipts in 2011 than in 2007 ($118.8 million versus $98.5 million, see Table 1 and Table 2). More than half of that money has come in contributions or $200 or less. At the same time, his joint fundraising committee was able to raise an additional $44.1 million for the Democratic National Committee. However, early 2008 was a season for blockbuster fundraising by the Obama campaign, as the campaign raised $36 million in January, $57 million in February and $43 million in March. It remains to be seen whether the incumbent can keep up with that pace.
The fundraising leader among the Republicans, former-Governor Mitt Romney, brought in slightly more in 2011 ($56.7 million) than in 2007 ($54.7 million). In both years, the Romney campaign relied on donors who gave large contributions. In 2007, the campaign also received additional $35 million in the form of a loan from the candidate. The candidate has not put any self-financing into his current efforts. Nearly all of the missing self-financing has been made up by the pro-Romney Restore Our Future Super PAC, which had receipts of $30.2 million in 2011.
Also in mid-2011, people associated with Barack Obama formed the Priorities USA Action PAC to support the Obama campaign. While Priorities USA Action only shows $4.4 million in receipts for 2011 (see Table 3), two of its contributions are interesting. One is straightforward: a $1 million contribution from the Service Employees International Union. The other is a transfer of $215,234 from Priorities USA, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization related to the Super PAC that does not have to disclose its donors under current law. The process shows how a donor who wishes to give anonymously may avoid disclosure by giving to the 501(c)(4).
Attached below (Table 4) is a more complete list of corporate and institutional contributions in 2011 to Restore Our Future (pro-Romney), Priorities USA Action(Pro-Obama), and Making Us Great Again (pro-Rick Perry).