The Washington Post

Republicans dominate super PAC game in 2011

Super PACs are still very much a Republican-dominated world.

Fundraising numbers filed Tuesday complete the picture of a 2011 that was dominated by Republican-leaning super PACs, as their Democratic counterparts struggled to make an impact.

A super PAC supporting Mitt Romney filed a report Tuesday showing it raised $30 million in 2011, and the pro-GOP American Crossroads super PAC raised $18.4 million (and raised a combined $51 million with its nonprofit affiliate Crossroads GPS). That outpaced the top four Democratic-leaning super PACs combined.

Democratic PACS Priorities USA, American Bridge, Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC combined to raise just $13.6 million in 2011.

On top of that, the super PACs supporting individual Republican candidates have had impact as well, airing about as many ads as the candidates themselves.

Romney’s top super PAC, Restore Our Future, was the biggest fundraiser of any super PAC in 2011, with its $30 million haul. It had $23.6 million cash on hand at year’s end.

And the top super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, Winning Our Future, raised $2 million in December alone and has received another $10 million in January from billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Among other GOP candidates:

* Rick Perry’s super PAC, Make Us Great Again, raised $4 million

* Jon Huntsman’s super PAC, Our Destiny PAC, raised $2.8 million, including $2 million from the candidate’s father

* Herman Cain’s super PAC, the 9-9-9 Fund, raised $620,000.

* Ron Paul’s super PACs raised millions as well, including $1 million from Endorse Liberty PAC, which says it has raised millions more in January.

* Rick Santorum’s top two super PACs raised about $880,000 combined.

In total, the top candidate candidate super PACs combined to raise more than $40 million in 2011, and those whose candidates remain probably increased their pace this month, as votes started being cast.

All of it indicates that the Citizen’s United decision continues help the GOP. Republicans’ response to the creation of super PACs has been far more lucrative to that of their Democratic counterparts, who can’t seem to raise nearly as much money in big chunks.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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