July 29, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Super PACs Shift Focus to Congressional Races

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Sen. Claire McCaskill is one of the four incumbent Democratic Senators that FreedomWorks has targeted recently.

As a whole, super PACs backing Democrats have lagged far behind their GOP counterparts throughout this election cycle. Because Majority PAC and House Majority PAC file disclosures to the FEC every quarter, not every month, their April receipts are not available. However, first-quarter filings show that Majority PAC had pulled in $4.2 million as of March 31, while House Majority PAC raised $4.5 million. Another leading Democratic super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, has raised $5.8 million in this cycle.

Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic super PAC backing President Barack Obama, updates its FEC filings every month and reported collecting $1.6 million in April, bringing its total receipts for the election cycle to $10.6 million.

By contrast, Restore Our Future, the leading GOP super PAC backing presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, raised $4.6 million in April, bringing its total receipts for the cycle to $56.5 million.

Adding to the GOP advantage is the more than $100 million that the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads has raised in conjunction with its nonprofit affiliate, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies. Both Crossroads groups have run ads in the presidential and congressional races.

A closely watched wild card group also spending heavily in congressional races is the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which pulled in just less than $380,000 last month, bringing its total for the election cycle to $2.9 million.

The group made about $240,000 in campaign expenditures in April, the latest FEC disclosures show. The super PAC describes itself as a nonpartisan organization focused on unseating incumbents, and has helped oust lawmakers from both parties in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But virtually all its donors are longtime GOP contributors, and the super PAC recently hired a tea party organizer underscoring the growing heft of super PACs with a conservative bent.

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