LRC News

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Ad Spending By Independent Groups Estimated at $400 Million

The New York Times reports that spending by independent groups on TV ads for this year's presidential election should total about $400 million.

The Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington research group that analyzes campaign finance data, has studied all the outside money poured into the Presidential race along with the House and Senate races, and where that money came from. They found a few interesting trends: More than $180 million will have been spent by so-called “527 groups,” which are named for the section of the Internal Revenue Service code that regulates them. Most of this money was spent by groups that support Democrats. While this is a large sum, it is far less than the $338 million spent by 527 groups in the 2004 race. Part of the drop-off in 527 spending is due to the fact that both Presidential candidates discouraged their donors from giving to these groups. The biggest 527 activity this year came from unions like AFSCME and the SEIU. In all, since the presidential race began in January 2007, Democratic-supporting 527 groups spent $133 million, while Republican ones spent $49 million, according to the Institute.