Federal Politics

Published — January 3, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Presidential candidates outspending ‘Super PACs’

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a caucus day rally at the Temple for Performing Arts, in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Outside groups create alternate spending channel

Introduction

The “super PACs” backing various presidential contenders spent at least $12.9 million last year to help their favorite White House hopefuls — that’s a lot, but it represents only a fraction of the amount spent by the candidates themselves.

Through the end of last September, the campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republicans Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Fred Karger, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain combined amounted to $74 million.

That’s according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics.

While these totals do not include any expenses from the fourth quarter of 2011 — those need not be reported until January 31 — they far exceed the amounts spent by their super PAC supporters through December 2011.

In nearly all cases, the respective candidates’ campaign spending far outpaced the technically-unaffiliated super PACs. (Super PACs can accept unlimited donations from corporations, labor unions and individuals and spend the funds to help or hurt candidates.)

While super PACs backing Romney led the way with more than $4.5 million in independent expenditures, his campaign committee spent more than $17.5 million. Obama, who saw super PACs spend $306,229 in support of his re-election, spent over $27 million in campaign funds. And although a pro-Huntsman group spent more than $1.8 million to help the former Utah governor, this amounted to less than half of what his campaign spent: about $4.1 million.

Only Rick Perry’s campaign spending so far this year were smaller than those of his supporters’ super PACs. Perry, who did not announce his candidacy until August, still managed to spend about $2 million through the third quarter of 2011. It is likely that when his fourth quarter totals are released, they will exceed the more than $3.7 million super PACs spent on his behalf.

Individuals can give a maximum of $2,500 to each candidate per election.

John Dunbar contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.