Report: Super PAC, party ad spending nearly on par

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By JACK GILLUM, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Outside groups have spent nearly the same as political parties in about two dozen competitive elections this year, a new report found.

Super PACs and other independent groups dropped about $24.8 million on ads affecting the 25 most-competitive House races, according to a study by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. That's compared with about $24.9 million that the political party congressional campaign committees spent on the airwaves.

The study found the phenomenon affects both Democrats and Republicans. Its findings suggest outside groups are having similar effects in the spending on political races as traditional political parties.

The study also found Democratic candidates are more often reliant on donors who give in smaller amounts.

Super PACs are flourishing this election thanks to loosened rules that allow them to raise and spend unlimited sums of cash. Those groups and other nonprofits are driving the presidential election alone to cost about $2 billion.

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