The Value of “Unlimited Spending” in Presidential Elections: Super PAC Influence in the 2012 Republican Primaries
Dalia, Joseph, Jr.
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In their inaugural presidential cycle, Super PACs spent heavily in an attempt to sway voters. Though this spending was widely publicized and served as a major source of controversy, very little evidence has been presented to suggest that their efforts translate into influence. Naturally, this begs the question: how much power do these deep-pocketed Super PACs truly possess? Using data from the 2012 Republican nomination period, this study finds that the effects of Super PAC spending are minimal, specific to long-shot candidates, and situational.