In an election year that has been anything but typical, Republican super PAC donors are wondering whether the big money they are putting into efforts for their candidates is even worth it, The Hill reports.
Businessman Donald Trump has spent virtually nothing on his campaign yet has mostly led the national polls since shortly after announcing his candidacy in June. On the other hand, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the presumed front-runner early on, has seen a steady slide in the polls despite the $60 million spent on his behalf by the Right to Rise Super PAC.
Though many people are upset at the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allowed for super PACs to raise and spend unlimited funds on the behalf of candidates, the 2016 race is showing it really has "no impact," New York financier Anthony Scaramucci told The Hill. Scaramucci worked for Scott Walker's campaign, and is now working for Bush.
"I mean, with the free media, or whatever the term is, when they allow Trump to go on to every TV station in America — if there’s evidence that PACs are so consequential, please explain it to me," Scaramucci said.
"Despite all the talk about money in politics, we are entering an era where big money is less and less important," said John Jordan, a California winery owner who runs a super PAC supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"I think the whole idea of super PACs has been overrated," Fred Malek, finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said. "Super-PACs can only do so much."
Malek noted that super PACS pay far higher rates for TV ads than candidates do, making their vast reserves less valuable than they appear.
Bush himself downplayed the effectiveness of super PAC ads on Wednesday, telling a breakfast meeting in Iowa, voters "have a way of kind of filtering all this out and making their decisions based on the information they have," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Still, most donors are sticking with super PACs for now.
California investor William Oberndorf, a Right to Rise donor, said he's waiting to see how later voting states play out.
"Iowa is unusual as it is a caucus state [and] New Hampshire is unusual because it is so small, and retail politics play such a disproportionate role there," he said.
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