Super PACs/outside groups hit 44% ad spend this election


MoneyOutside groups have accounted for almost half of all ad spending during this presidential general election, according to a First Read analysis of data provided by ad-buying firm SMG Delta and NBC News.

Groups supporting the presidential candidates but not affiliated with the campaign, including super PACs, have spent $267 million of the $605.7 million spent on television and radio ads.

That means about 44 cents of every dollar spent on ads this election has come from outside groups.

There’s a big difference between who they’re supporting. Three-quarters of all money spent by outside groups — $212 million — has gone to support Mitt Romney.

Two-thirds of all the ads run to support Romney, including the campaign, have come from outside groups. By contrast, 20% of ads supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election effort have come from outside groups.

OVERALL SPEND: $605.7 million

Team Obama $286,905,268

Team Romney $318,396,978

OUTSIDE SPEND: $266,782,619 (44% of total)

Team Romney $212,458,408 (67% of total)

Team Obama $57,473,660 (20% of total)

Outside groups’ spending tracks with the campaigns in some ways with heavy spending in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. But in states where the campaigns aren’t spending heavily, outside groups have stepped in to account for most of the political advertising to test out messages.

Florida, like with the campaigns, is seeing the most total spending from outside groups — $58.6 million. That’s just about half of the $121 million total spent in the state.

Next up in total spending: Ohio $42.6 million, Virginia $33.3 million, Colorado $25.1 million, North Carolina $21.2 million, Iowa $19 million, Pennsylvania $14.4 million, Nevada $14.2 million, Wisconsin $13.4 million, New Hampshire $11.9 million, Michigan $10 million.

By%age of total spending in that state: Michigan 99.9%, Wisconsin 92%, Pennsylvania 75%, Colorado 44%, Wisconsin 42%, Iowa 40%, Virginia 37%, North Carolina 37%, Nevada 37%, Ohio 36%. In every state, outside groups have made up a majority of all ads supporting Romney. In Florida, 73% of all ads supporting Romney have come from outside groups.

Though the Obama campaign has spent $46 million in Florida, outside groups have helped Romney even the score. The Crossroads groups have poured in more than $25 million, the Koch-brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity $9 million, Restore Our Future $8 million, America’s Future Fund $1.4 million, and the American Energy Alliance $850,000. They have combined with the Romney campaign for $60.3 million in the Sunshine State, about what Obama has spent with the help of outside groups — $60.7 million.

The Obama campaign has gotten some help from outside groups in Florida, but not to the level Romney is benefitting. Priorities USA has spent $12.7 million there, followed by the SEIU $1.5 million, Planned Parenthood $450,000, $64,000 and the ACLU $17,000.

See the NBC News story here