Conservative Super PACs Mostly Attacking Republicans

Conservative super PACs outspend Democratic ones, with other Republicans being targeted, study finds.

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Conservative and Republican super PACs are doing much better at raising money than their Democratic and liberal counterparts, according to a new study.

The analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, which keeps track of election spending, found that over the past 18 months, conservative-oriented Super PACS collected about $230 million, while Democrat-leaning Super PACs raised less than $80 million.

[Ken Walsh: Bain Attacks Hurt Romney But Don't Help Obama]

A spokeswoman for the foundation said, "Democratic Super PACs may have been greatly outspent so far, but their Republican-aligned rivals spent the largest share of their money attacking other GOP primary candidates. Through July 22, GOP Super PACs had spent almost $124 million—but about $60 million of that went to negative ads about other Republicans. In contrast, just $18.6 million went to negative ads about Democrats ($45.4 million went to ads supporting Republicans)."

[Graphic: GOP Groups Dominate Super PAC Landscape]

With the primaries completed, the spending power of the GOP Super PACs can be focused on defeating President Barack Obama and the Democrats, and supporting presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The Republican Super PACs also raised far more money from business interests than their Democratic counterparts.

Super PACs are political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money; some of them don't have to reveal their contributors.

The study confirms the importance of the Super PACs in the current election cycle. Their spending power and ability to invest in huge numbers of TV ads could turn the presidential election in key swing states.

Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," at usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column in the U.S. News Weekly. Walsh can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

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