Sunlight Foundation

Follow the Unlimited Money

Showing data from the 2011-2012 election cycle. See the 2013-2014 home page.

Fundraising and spending by political leaning, 2011-12

Totals on this page reflect money raised by super PACs, and money spent by super PACS, noncommittees and party committees in the 2012 election cycle. For a more complete accounting, see the outside spending overview page. Also see a breakdown of spending by office sought.

Sunlight researchers determined the political orientation of political groups by reviewing spending and public communications patterns. We are including a "political orientation" column in our downloadable .csv file summarizing committee financials. For more details, see our methodology.

Cash on hand, Democratic-aligned Super PACs: $23,736,659
Cash on hand, Republican-aligned Super PACs: $7,293,751
Cash on hand, all other Super PACs: $2,361,199

Cash on hand reflects the balance as of each super PACs most recent filing. Some file reports monthly: They are due on the 20th of each month. Some file quarterly. Those statements are due on the 15th of the month following the close of the quarter. Note that quarterly filers also have to file pre- and post-election reports, timed to the primary and general election dates.

Overall contributions by Super PAC party orientation

Total itemized contributions, Democratic-aligned Super PACs: $311,349,464
Total itemized contributions, Republican-aligned Super PACs: $752,814,400
Total itemized contributions, all other Super PACs: $20,835,032

Chart and totals do not include unitemized contributions of $200 or less. Totals are from Jan. 1, 2011 through the present.

Total independent expenditures by Super PAC party orientation

Total independent expenditures, Democratic-aligned Super PACs: $185,936,986
Total independent expenditures, Republican-aligned Super PACs: $405,588,659
Total independent expenditures, all other Super PACs: $12,030,316

Independent expenditures do not include a Super PAC's "operating expenses," which include salaries, and contributions to other PACs. Totals are from Jan. 1, 2011 through the present.

General election spending by Super PAC orientation

Total general election independent expenditures, Democratic-aligned Super PACs: $174,247,999
Total general election independent expenditures, Republican-aligned Super PACs: $294,931,644
Total general election independent expenditures, all other Super PACs: $6,265,085

Independent expenditures do not include a Super PAC's "operating expenses," which include salaries, and contributions to other PACs. Totals are from Jan. 1, 2011 through the present. Note that primary and general election spending will not sum to total election spending because of other election codes: special elections, nominating conventions, etc.

General election spending by noncommittees, by political orientation

Total general election independent expenditures, Democratic-aligned noncommittees: $37,051,547
Total general election independent expenditures, Republican-aligned noncommittees: $201,727,317
Total general election independent expenditures, all other noncommittees: $1,641,890

Independent expenditures do not include a groups "operating expenses," which include salaries, and contributions to other PACs. Totals are from Jan. 1, 2011 through the present. Primary and general election spending will not sum to total election spending because of other election codes: special elections, nominating conventions, etc. FEC rules allow political groups to spend millions on elections without registering--for more see the noncommittees page.

General election spending by party committees, by political orientation

Total general election independent expenditures, Democratic party committees: $111,124,826
Total general election independent expenditures, Republican party committees: $137,454,416
Total general election independent expenditures, all other party committees: $590,062

FEC rules allow political parties to make both independent and coordinated expenditures--so these numbers do not reflect party committees total spending. Independent expenditures do not include a groups "operating expenses," which include salaries, and contributions to other PACs. Totals are from Jan. 1, 2011 through the present. Primary and general election spending will not sum to total election spending because of other election codes: special elections, nominating conventions, etc.