DATA RELEASE: Dark Money Groups Spent More in Toss-Up House Races

March 12, 2014-MapLight has produced a series of reports and visualizations on how the growth of 'dark money' has impacted the nature of spending in elections. Our first report, "Social Welfare" Groups Dominate Dark Money Spending on Congressional Elections, examines the dramatic increase in spending by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations in congressional elections from January 1, 1999 - December 31, 2012.

Our second report, Toss-Up Senate Races Are Key Targets for Dark Money, shows the targeted spending of dark money groups on the Senate's most competitive 2012 races.

We also looked at the flow of dark money in three key 2012 Senate races: Virginia,Nevada, and Ohio.

Our final report examines the targeted spending of dark money groups on the House's most competitive 2012 races.

Dark Money Groups Spent More on Toss-Up House Races in 2012

During the 2012 elections, dark money groups - organizations that spend money on elections but do not have to disclose the sources of their contributions - focused their spending on key races in the House that gave them the best opportunity to change the outcome in favor of their preferred candidate.

  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $1.1 million on 2012 House of Representatives races that were rated "toss-ups" by The New York Times ($1,125,332.28).
  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $92,567 on 2012 House of Representatives races that were rated "solid" or "leaning" in favor of one of the candidates by The New York Times.
  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $560,836 on 2012 House of Representatives races that were rated leaning Democratic by The New York Times.
  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $630,908 on 2012 House of Representatives races that were rated leaning Republican by The New York Times.

Click here to view interactive graph.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: A link to this report can be found here. Please cite MapLight if you use data from this analysis, "A MapLight analysis of OpenSecrets.org data..."

Special thanks to Robert Maguire at Center for Responsive Politics.

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics.

Media Contact: Pamela Behrsin

c: 415-299-0898 | e: pamela@maplight.org | t: @imonlyabill

Media Contact

Pamela Behrsin
Communications
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org