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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Early Outside Money

Political organizations working to influence the 2016 elections outside the party or official campaign structure had spent more than $25.1 million as of Sept. 21. That’s an increase of more than 34 percent over their counterparts at this point in the 2014 midterm elections — and a five-fold leap over their outlays by this date in the last presidential cycle, a Center for Responsive Politics review of Federal Election Commission data shows. 
If any type of group is in vogue, it’s the “single-candidate” committee, according to FEC data, and that means a boon for conservative groups in terms of sheer spending power. Of the 40 organizations that have spent the most so far in the 2016 cycle — a list that includes political nonprofits, super PACs and business associations — more than half are dedicated to one candidate and one race. The same is true of the top 20 biggest spenders, which includes 11 single-candidate groups.

The rise of single-candidate operations gives conservative organizations an edge in a presidential race marked by a large crop of Republican presidential candidates. Of the 20 biggest spenders, just one has a liberal viewpoint: the establishment-Democrat-backing Senate Majority PAC
In 2013, back when single-candidate groups spent just under $2.7 million before September, 14 of the top 20 biggest spenders had supported liberal candidates or opposed conservative ones.