With control of the Senate up in the air, Democratic Party super donors are putting an end to the conventional wisdom that the GOP is the party of the big spenders by outraising and outspending their Republican counterparts, reports Politico.
According to an analysis of the most recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, the 15 top Democrat-aligned committees have outraised the 15 top Republican groups $453 million to $289 million in the 2014 cycle.
The report, which was based on the most recent filings, also found that the edge held by Democrats held firm in August when Democrats raised $51 million, compared with $21 million for Republicans.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Democratic Super PACs
have spent more to date than Republican groups with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's political action committee leading the way.
Liberal Super PACs have spent $73.3 million compared with conservative-affiliated groups, who have spent $65.2 million. Senate Majority PAC has raised $39,846,390 and environmental activist Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate Action has brought in $42,889,953.
Rounding out the top four fundraisers are GOP strategist Karl Rove's American Crossroads ($13,995,564) and Ending Spending
Action Fund ($7,208,786), which is a group focused on the national debt and federal budget issues. It was founded by Joe Ricketts, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade, and its president is Brian Baker, a onetime adviser to former Republican Sens. Robert Dole of Kansas and Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Democrats, however, defend their spending by insisting that they are working to limit money in politics, while Republicans are not.
Senate Majority PAC's campaigns director, Ty Matsdorf told Politico that it is fair to characterize Republicans as the representatives of big money.
"Absolutely not, because Democrats are fighting to have less money in politics while Republicans want to have even more money. We have to play by the rules as they exist not the rules we want," he said.
One of the biggest Democratic spenders is California billionaire Steyer, who just sent $15 million in August to his PAC NextGen Climate Action, which has received a total of $26 million from Steyer's own bank account to date, reports Jewish Business News
Steyer is spending heavily in states where environmental issues are front and center, including a $1 million to impact races in Washington State, reports The Seattle Times
Another big donor is Chicago billionaire Fred Eychaner who has given $5 million, including $1 million to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's political action committee, Senate Majority PAC, which has reportedly raised $38 million this cycle.
The battle for the Senate has driven much of the spending this year, which is one reason why spending by outside groups has risen this cycle.
Outside groups have spent an estimated $97 million on advertising in Senate races this election cycle, an increase from the estimated $78 million spent at this same juncture in 2012, according to the Wesleyan Media Group
According to a report by PBS' "Newshour,"
In North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas, Michigan, and Louisiana, Democratic outside groups spent more, but in trailed the GOP in Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, and New Hampshire.
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