Aug. 26 — The volume of ads sponsored by outside groups grew exponentially since 2000, with super political action committees providing the lion's share of spending in the last two election cycles, a new report from the Wesleyan Media Project and the Center for Responsive Politics shows.
In total, there were more than 2 million ads aired for the 2016 election cycle so far, 9 percent more than in 2012, with $1.56 billion being spent. Ads in presidential, Senate, and House races were down from 2012, but an increase of 40 percent more ads in governors' races made up the difference.
Outside groups sponsored more than 30 percent of all congressional ads in 2016 primary and general elections, more than twice the portion of spending they accounted for in 2004 and over five times that of 2002.
Whereas 527 groups dominated spending in 2004, their presence has been relegated to a footnote in recent races with no spending since 2012. Super PACs now fund 73 percent of all ad buys. Ad spending by regular PACs and nonprofit groups (501(c)5, 501(c)6 groups) has also diminished considerably.
PACs represented almost 30 percent of ad buys in 2000, but only 3 percent of 2012 and 2016. Nonprofit 501cs went from 63 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2016.
The report called dark money groups—501(c)4 and other groups that don't disclose their donors—“a consistent but growing presence since 2000,” with the number of ads funded with dark money increasing by 142 percent between federal election years 2008 and 2012. Between 2014 and 2010, it increased over 70 percent.
Few groups repeated their presence in election cycles, with almost 80 percent only showing up for one election.
To contact the reporter on this story: Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones in Washington at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at email@example.com
The Wesleyan Media Project and Center for Responsive Politics report can be viewed at http://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/releases/aug-2016/.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)