From Open Secrets:
Outside groups have now spent more than $400 million to influence elections this cycle, data collected from the Federal Election Commission show, a figure that dwarfs the amount spent by this point in the 2012 election.
These outside groups include not only super PACs and 527 organizations, which must disclose their donors, but also 501(c) nonprofit groups, which aren’t required to do so. Together, they’ve spent about $403 million — a 175 percent increase over the almost $146 million such groups had spent by this time in June 2012.
Not surprisingly, super PACs have driven the spending. With about $341 million in independent expenditures so far, they account for about 84 percent of all outside spending — roughly the same share as at this point in the last presidential cycle. Then, super PAC spending made up 81 percent of all political expenditures by outside groups.
Despite the huge sums they have spent already, super PACs have have held onto nearly half of the $755 million they have raised so far. So in addition to whatever they can raise in the coming months, they have a $414 million hoard to unleash before the Nov. 8 elections.
Though record-breaking, the growth in outside spending this year has slowed somewhat from its breakneck pace of earlier this spring, when it jumped $100 million in just six weeks. That’s mainly because the presidential primary season has drawn to a close — nearly every major candidate had at least one super PAC backing him or her, including almost all of the…