Election's bill tilts left

Independent election spending benefited state Democrats the most, bucking a national trend

Outside groups spent a record amount during the 2012 election cycle in an attempt to sway voters. These groups spent more than $1 billion to influence the election.

During the last presidential election, that number was closer to $150 million. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission paved the way toward this higher spending. The ruling allowed corporations to spend money in candidate elections, so long as that spending wasn’t coordinated with a specific candidate’s campaign. These “independent expenditures” made up the vast majority of the money spent by outside groups in the election.

Although Missouri is no longer a battleground state, dozens of groups made independent expenditures here during the election. In an exception to the rest of the nation, though, most of this spending supported democrats, particularly incumbent U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, or opposed republicans. She won re-election against challenger Todd Akin.

Sources: Federal Election Commission, OpenSecrets.org