Seeing the return on investment


Outside groups have invested $1.3 billion in this election, and as the remaining votes are being counted, we at Sunlight are busy tallying up who spent their money on winners and who bet their big bucks backing losing campaigns. The groups below are the outside groups who spent the most in the general election.

(Read more about outside spender’s return on investment here.)

Using our Follow the Unlimited Money site, we calculated returns on investment for outside groups that gave the most during this year’s general election campaign. (Note that these numbers are not final, as results of some races have yet to be called.)

Our calculations include super PACs, non-profit organizations and political party committees. We left out the two big committees focused solely on helping presidential contenders—Restore Our Future, which backed Mitt Romney, and Priorities USA, which supported President Barack Obama—because their won/loss percentages are obvious and based mostly on the lone presidential race. The groups listed above all played in more than one contest.

The percentage that appears over each group’s name represents their fall batting averages. That’s to say, it reflects how much of their money went to support candidates who won, and how much went to oppose candidates who lost. Our calculations include money spent on the general election only, not primary contests or special elections. And our data is only as good as the group’s reporting to the Federal Election Commission. If you see discrepancies or errors, email us here.

Preliminary data is available here: we will add updated data to our socrata account as returns are finalized.


see candidate data

see orginzational data