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A look at online ads in the 2012 election

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Super PACs, trade associations and other nonprofit groups that made campaign expenditures spent roughly $46.1 million on web ads. Though the Obama campaign considerably outspent Romney's campaign on web advertising, outside Republican outside spenders ponied up nearly five times more on online advertising than liberal outside groups, according to independent expenditure filings with the FEC.

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So long Twinkie; so long political sugar

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Twinkie

While the bankruptcy of Hostess Brands might have Americans worried about where they'll get their Twinkies, some politicians might be looking for new sources of green.

This morning, Hostess, the company that makes the treats,  officially announced its liquidation and the subsequent lay off of about 18,500 employees in the midst of a labor dispute with the striking Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). The bankruptcy filing cited the strike as the immediate cause, but also said its obligations to workers' pension funds made the firm uncompetitive. 

While Hostess has offered politicians little more ...

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A revealing glance at the freshmen of the 113th Congress

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Image of National Journal graphic showing newly elected members of CongressIn stark contrast to the current crop of House freshmen, which we reported on extensively earlier this year, the soon-to-be newly sworn in members of the 113th Congress is considerably more balanced politically; however, analysts warn that it will likely be the most divided class yet.

Of the 89 new House members taking their oaths of office for the first time in January, 2011, after an election marked by a Tea Party tide, just nine were Democrats. So far this year (a few races remain to be called), there are 74 first-timers slated to take office next year, 44 Democrats ...

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Senate scorecard: Who won, and whom they owe

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Democrats Tammy Baldwin and Jon Tester were among this week's Senate winners

As with the presidential race, conservative outside groups who dropped the most money on heated Senate contests didn't get a great return on their investments. But that doesn't mean the new or returning senators that emerged victorious weren't also backed by big money. These groups, dominated by labor, will be asking for something in return for their support.

Virginia: Sen.-elect Tim Kaine

This race drew the attention of the biggest players in the outside spending game, who dropped more than $50 million in ...

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Davis deletes 13 consecutive tweets following debate

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Republican Rodney Davis, in a tight race with Democrat David Gill for Illinois' 13th Congressional District, deleted 13 consecutive posts from his Twitter account Thursday, hours after they were posted to his account during the congressional candidates' only debate of the campaign.

The debate highlighted many of the candidates' differences and provided insight into many of their positions including...their stance on Twitter? Both candidates' teams were actively tweeting during the debate;  however Team Davis, which posted 17 tweets during the course of the debate, deleted 13 consecutive posts less than a day later. Politwoops, the Sunlight Foundation's database ...

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Say what? Obama and others mistweet during VP debate

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As Joe Biden and Paul Ryan spat fire at one another during the Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the online community buzzed with commentary, tweeting quotes, praise, and criticism of the candidates' performances. President Barack Obama's Twitter feed was particularly busy, feverishly posting Democratic debate points under the label #TeamJoe. 

As Politwoops--a Sunlight Foundation tool that captures politicians' deleted tweets--proves, not even the president is absolved of error. In the social media frenzy, Obama's team misquoted his number two, taking a statement intended to support the middle class and turning it into one championing the rich ...

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A half-billion in outside influence: What else could the money buy?

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A little less than six weeks shy of Election Day, we've crossed another campaign spending Rubicon: Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker has now recorded more than $500 million in a spending on the 2012 campaign by outside interest groups.

pile of cash For those of you who have a hard time wrapping your heads around all those zeros, Sunlight's Jake Harper has calculated that it's enough to cover 155 football fields with $100 bills.

An indicator of just how rapidly folks who can write big checks are doing so: Our tracker showed a $28 million jump in 48 ...

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Do business groups’ pre-election forecasts follow their campaign money?

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Housing prices and consumer confidence are up but several business groups that have been in town this week have been delivering a distinctly gloomy view of the economy. While the groups have blue-chip reputations in the business world, what's less apparent is their track record of political giving -- one that raises some questions about the forecasts they are presenting six weeks before Election Day.

NAM LOGOFirst out of the blocks: the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business. The two groups teamed up at a Tuesday press conference to release a survey conducted by Public Opinion ...

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Resolution of Chicago teacher strike would be relief for Obama

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If striking Chicago teachers agree to the new contract framework hammered out with school board officials, perhaps no one will be happier than President Barack Obama, who calls the windy city home.

The increasingly polarized issue of public education threatened to split the Democratic party from one if its biggest bases of support, potentially hurting Obama's campaign. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been a key Obama fundraiser and was Obama's former White House chief of staff, took a hard line against the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), receiving unsolicited praise for his stance from Republican Vice Presidential Candidate ...

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