This year marks the first election in which Super PACs will enter the fray alongside presidential candidates, bringing with them piles of cash not subject to any limits on fund-raising or spending.
The latest campaign finance filings show that conservative Super PACs continue to vastly out-raise liberal ones and are leveling the presidential playing field in the process.
Altogether, the top five conservative Super PACs by money raised have amassed more than three times as much as their liberal counterparts. The disparity is also true of presidential Super PACs -- Romney's Restore Our Future has raised $57 million, more than six times as much as Obama's Priorities USA.
The graph above shows the amount each campaign has raised*, along with the total amount raised by the five biggest Super PACs of that same party, which are shown here. While Restore Our Future and Priorities USA will likely focus solely on the presidential race, the others will spend in Congressional races as well.
- Check out our collection of politcal cartoons on Super PACs
- Debate Club: Are Super PACs Harming U.S. Politics?
- Obama's Super, Super PAC
*Presidential figures do not include amounts raised through joint fundraising between the candidates and the national parties.
Seth Cline is a reporter for US News and World Report. You can contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.