In the first presidential election since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates of campaign financing, new super PACs have poured tens of millions of dollars into the Republican campaign, financing negative ads that have damaged the public’s view of the leading candidates. When the primary season began four years ago, the five top GOP candidates had reported raising $217 million. This cycle, the top seven hopefuls had raised about $133 million, nearly 40 percent less. Filling some of that gap are the newly authorized super PACs, which can collect donations of any size and so far have spent $40 million.
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