DATA RELEASE: Toss-Up Senate Races Are Key Targets for Dark Money

February 21, 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, examined 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, examines targeted spending of dark money groups on the Senate's most competitive races.

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 races that gave them the best opportunity to change the outcome in favor of their preferred candidate.

  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $9.1 million on 2012 Senate races that were rated "toss-ups" by the New York Times.
  • Dark money groups spent, on average, $1.4 million on 2012 Senate races that the New York Times rated "solid" or "leaning" in favor of one of the candidates by the New York Times.
  • In total, dark money groups spent $108.8 million on 2012 Senate elections.
 Click here to embed visual. 

Share this: On TwitterOn Facebook

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..."

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks 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