Key Findings

  • In first full election cycle since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, 2012's federal elections ushered in nearly $1 billion in new political spending.
  • Nearly two-thirds of that outside money— about $611 million — went to just 10 political advertising vendors, several of which were previously unknown.
  • Eighty-nine percent of the ads paid for by Citizens United-related groups, such as super PACs and nonprofits, attacked candidates.