GOP outguns Dems in super-PAC fundraising

May 9, 2012 at 10:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Republican-leaning super-PACs raised $156.5 million while pro-Democratic super-PACs took in $43.4 million so far in the 2012 U.S. election, a review indicated.

Although financier George Soros said he would contribute $2 million to several progressive groups, the reluctance to contribute by large donors has been a source of frustration for pro-Democrat independent expenditure groups such as Priorities USA Action, Roll Call reported Wednesday.

Priorities USA Action collected $2.5 million in March, well above the $58,815 the group raised in January, Political MoneyLine reported. Yet, the $9 million that Priorities USA Action collected this cycle lags well behind the $51.9 million raised by Restore Our Future, the super-Political Action Committee backing presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The lopsided advantage GOP-leaning super-PACs enjoy has forced Democratic super-PACs to follow increasingly creative strategies to leverage resources, such as targeting supporters in donor-friendly regions, teaming with progressive activists and labor groups on ad buys and using so-called micro-targeting to reach specific voter blocs, observers said. They're also reaching out to former Democratic officeholders, such as President Bill Clinton, to urge reluctant donors to open their wallets.

"In some ways, the Democrats are in the dating stage with various super PACs," said major Democratic donor Heather Podesta, founder of the government relations firm Heather Podesta + Partners. "And I think over the next six to 10 weeks you are going to see Democrats putting down major money in the super-PACs. They are going to commit themselves to marriage."

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