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Outside Money Takes the Inside Track

In First Full Post-Citizens United Cycle, Unrestricted Groups Moved Closer to Eclipsing Candidates and National Parties in Election Spending in 2012

Dec. 19, 2012 — Outside spending in the 2012 election cycle was historic. At more than $1 billion, outside groups’ spending surpassed the total spent by such groups in the four previous election cycles combined. This cycle’s spending came on the heels of near-record spending by outside groups in 2010, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and subsequent U.S. Appeals Court decision in Speechnow.org v. Federal Election Commission lifted restrictions on the contribution amounts that such groups could receive. But, in 2012, the top three outside spenders alone spent more than all outside groups combined in 2010.

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