The two Republican super PACs — Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), aligned with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), and Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), aligned with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) — have been flooding the airwaves since September with a torrent of hard-hitting attack ads to boost Republicans and improve their chances of maintaining control of Congress.
While Republican candidates are lagging behind Democratic candidates in raising money for their own campaign coffers, the huge sums raised by the super PACs are helping make up for the fundraising and spending gap, new Federal Election Commission records filed Saturday show.
Since Sept. 1, CLF and SLF spent $112.3 million on advertising. In comparison, the two main Democratic super PACs aligned with leadership — House Majority PAC (HMP) and Senate Majority PAC (SMP) — spent $37.7 million, FEC records show.
In September, Republican Party committees and the two main super PACs aligned with leadership raised a total of $112 million, compared with $74.7 million collectively raised by their Democratic counterparts, the filings show.
SLF raised $37.6 million in September — the super PAC’s best fundraising month this cycle. CLF, its counterpart working to elect House Republicans, raised $25.5 million in September. The two groups have $82.5 million in cash on hand as of the end of September.
HMP and SMP raised $32.6 million in September, FEC records show. The two groups have a combined $73.5 million in cash on hand as of the end of September.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, a medical professional, donated $25 million to the Senate Leadership Fund in September, FEC records show. That is in addition to the $32 million they donated in the same month to other GOP super PACs, including CLF.
The donations from the Adelsons are unmatched by any Democratic donor this cycle. The Adelsons are the biggest donors this election to the main Republican super PACs. In 2016, the couple gave large sums to anti-Clinton groups and together they have been some of the biggest political givers of the past three elections.