Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia see super PAC influxBy Joshua Hatch Mar 05 2012 12:15 p.m.
Of the nearly $10.7 million dollars in super PAC spending dumped on the super Tuesday states over the last two weeks, three — Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia — account for nearly all of the spending and almost half of the available delegates.
According to Sunlight's super PAC tracker, the race for Ohio and its 66 delegates leads the spending spree with nearly $4.5 million, nearly half of all the super PAC money spent in the past two weeks on super Tuesday states. The biggest spender has been Restore Our Future, which supports former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That super PAC has spent in excess of $2.6 million in the last week, all but $20,000 of which was used opposing Romney's main challenger, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Meanwhile, Red White and Blue Fund, which supports Santorum, has injected $1.1 million into the Buckeye state, and Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, has laid down nearly $770,000. Both super PACs say they have spent their money in support of their respective candidates, instead of working against their opponents.
Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Obama, has gotten into the act, too, spending $77,000 on TV ads opposing Romney. Ohio has drawn major expenditures by two other players who are not super PACs: The AFL-CIO, which has pumped $500,000 into the state to oppose Romney and the Life and Marriage PAC, which spent $50,000, also against Romney.
Georgia offers more delegates — 76 — than Ohio, but is also Gingrich's home turf. The pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future, has pumped $1.1 million into the Peach State in the last week in support of the native son. Restore Our Future has spent more than $1.4 million over that same time period, with all but $5,000 on media buys opposing Gingrich.
About $2.1 million has been spent by the super PACs in Tennessee, which has 58 delegates up for grabs. Of the $1.3 million spent by Restore Our Future, all but $10,000 was in opposition of Santorum. Winning Our Future, on the other hand, spent all of its $728,000 in support of Gingrich.
The next biggest prize on Tuesday is Virginia, with 46 delegates, but neither Santorum nor Gingrich is on the ballot in that state. Nevertheless, Winning Our Future dropped about $14,000 there.
Overall, the Romney-supporting Restore Our Future is leading the spending spree with $6.9 million in expenditures over the past week. Of that, $5.4 million has been in opposition to Santorum, $1.4 million has been in oppoostion to Gingrich, and $40,000 has been in support of Romney. Most of the spending was on producing and airing ads, including some national cable ads that aren't reported as state-specific.
The pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future has spent about $3.2 million, and the Red White and Blue Fund has spent about $1.3 million. Both super PACs report spending only in support of their favored candidates and most of the money went to television advertising.
Endorse Liberty Inc., which supports Ron Paul, reports about $41,000 in spending since Feb. 20, but did not report any of it specific to a particular state.
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