Editorial: This year is now the year of the super PAC
Regardless of the outcome of the Florida Primary Tuesday, Americans are having seen an election process change with the increasing role of the super PAC spending.
History will decide whether the emergence of super PAC spending is a positive political development or not. The fact remains that super PAC spending has an increasing role.
Early analysis of presidential campaign spending in the current Republican primary race shows that super PACs have increased significantly in both spending and ad volume, compared to 2008 levels.
According to published reports, super PAC spending through Monday totaled more than $44 million, compared to $10.6 million in outside group spending at this point in 2008.
That is an increase of more than 315 percent, which is no small change.
The volume of advertising also had an impact in the Florida primary.
Super PACs backing Mitt Romney aired more than 12,700 television ads in Florida, compared with only 210 ads aired by super PACs backing Newt Gingrich.
That is a significant difference and likely played a significant role in the Florida outcome.
The independent group spending in the presidential race will only increase through the rest of 2012. This spending will come from groups on both sides of the political spectrum, including traditional conservative groups to more moderate and liberal groups.
The election of 2012 will be the year of the super PACs.