Maplight: The Bulk of Super PAC Money Flows from a Few Individual Donors

Written by admin on April 11th, 2012

Our friends at Maplight have put together an interactive chart which displays the distribution of donations to Super PACs.


Following the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United, and a subsequent ruling in a lower court, Speech Now v FEC, any entity (be it an individual, union, or company) is now able to make unlimited contributions to Super PACs to specifically advocate for or against federal candidates as long as they do not explicitly coordinate with those candidates’ campaigns. MapLight has conducted an analysis of the geographicial origins of the nearly $78 million in campaign contributions to Independent Expenditure-Only Committees (Super PACs) from Jan. 1, 2011- Feb. 29, 2012. Data source: Federal Election Commission ( Super PAC candidate positions provided by the New York Times.

A link to a spreadsheet of itemized data (names of contributors and contribution origin) from the Origins of Super PAC Money report can be found here. Click on the summary tab for totals. If you use our data we would appreciate if you would cite us accordingly (i.e. A MapLight analysis of FEC data shows…). MapLight is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics.


  • Restore Our Future Super PAC (Romney) has raised $8.6M in New York from 42 contributors
  • Winning Our Future Super PAC (Gingrich) has raised $16.5M in Nevada from 8 contributors
  • Priorities USA Action Super PAC (Obama) has raised $3.9M in California from 56 contributors
  • Red White and Blue Fund Super PAC (Santorum) has raised $1.6M in Wyoming from 1 contributor
  • Endorse Liberty Super PAC (Paul) has raised $2.7M in California from 10 contributors


Clicking on a state will reveal the contributions to Super PACs from individual cities from that state. A drop-down menu also allows for candidate comparisons as well as a geographic distribution of individual contributions to candidate-supporting Super PACs. Actual names of contributors can be found here.

A link to this Tableau data visualization can be found here. An embed code, which will allow you to host the visualization on your website or blog, is available by clicking on the link symbol at the bottom of the visual. Please call if you need technical assistance, 510-868-0894.

MapLight provides timely analysis to assist journalists with their news stories. Interviews with our researchers can be conducted in our Berkeley office or at UC Berkeley’s J-School


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