By any measure, Democrats raised more from PACs in 2010

The Center for Responsive Politics has the data on political action committee spending from the 2010 elections, and any way you slice it, regular PACs favored Democrats.

PAC spending is important because, more than the donations of individuals who work in an industry, PAC spending reflects corporate and organizational preferences. As President Obama might put it, PACs are “special interests.”

Of course, this election there was corporate spending outside of standard PACs — particularly the Super-PACs which could take direct corporate contributions. We’ll compile all the spending soon, but for now, here’s my breakdown of regular PAC spending:

TOTAL PAC SPENDING
House Dems:  $177,845,988
House GOP:           $112,387,700

Senate Dems: $42,289,559
Senate GOP:   $40,179,250

AVERAGE PAC MONEY RAISED BY PARTY’S NOMINEE
House Dems: $441,989
House GOP:          $259,153

Senate Dems: $1,068,702
Senate GOP:             $952,553

AVERAGE PAC MONEY RAISED BY INCUMBENTS SEEKING REELECTION
House Dems: $677,409
House GOP:       $534,161

Senate Dems: $1,855,488
Senate GOP:          $1,610,702

Now the picture is complicated by many factors. For instance, almost all GOP candidates were either challengers (who always have a harder time raising money) or safe incumbents (who don’t raise as much money). You can’t look at this data and conclude the Dems are the party of the special interests, but you can conclude that the Dems are full of it when they say the GOP is the party of the special interests.

Of course, both parties are too beholden to special interests.

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