In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Political action committees that do not contribute to or coordinate with candidates or parties can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and organizations. Many of these Super PACs are required to disclose the type and amount of their expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. However, disclosing the sources of their fundraising is optional.
Using SuperPACs’ quarterly FEC reports, this visualizations tracks fundraising and expenditures on the 2012 Presidential campaign. It will show how the targets of these organizations’ advocacy changed over time for both President Obama and Governor Romney as well as the roles these organizations play in either supporting or attacking the candidates.
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.