This visualization examines how money has moved into and out of SuperPACS during the 2012 presidential campaign.
During the beginning 2012, the selection of a challenger to the presidential race triggers a burst of PAC spending . Right after the Iowa caucus on January 3rd, we see a dramatic increase in pro-Romney spending. After Romney secures New Hampshire on January 10th, several Republican-leaning PACs begin to receive more donations, most prominently Winning Our Future, which is largely funded by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. The opposition picks its target, and a wave of Anti-Romney spending begins at this time.
By mid April, Democratic PACS continue to to attack Romney. Most Republican candidates that were competing with Romney say they will leave the race. Donations to most of the Republican PACs attacking Romney cease. Pro-Romney expenditures increase.
In June, Republican-leaning PACs begin to focus on attacking Obama. The Restore Our Future PAC, created by former Romney staffers, spends $7 million doing this.
At this point, the stage is set for the election race between Romney and Obama. Republican PACs attract more total inflows of money than the Democratic PACs at this time. However, Democratic PACs start to receive a new infusion of money.
Before describing the visualization, it is important to note that SuperPAC expenditures can be broken down into four categories of payment.
Expenditures by pro-Obama SuperPACs supporting Obama are in BLUE.
Expenditures by pro-Obama SuperPACs opposing Romney are in GREEN.
Expenditures by pro-Romney SuperPACs supporting Romney are in RED.
Expenditures by pro-Romney SuperPACs opposing Obama are in Yellow.
The two bar charts in the center reveal the total amount of funds spent supporting or opposing candidates.
At the bottom left we see the distribution of donations from people to SuperPACs over time, and on the bottom right the distribution of SuperPac spending on electioneering communication.