Apres Super Tuesday, it's a good time to check in on the pocketbooks of various candidates.
President Obama has collected over $!51 million so far, far ahead of the next guy, Mitt Romney. The former governor has raked in $64 million so far, and Ron Paul is a distant third with $31 million.
At this point in 2008, Obama had about $104 million (less than Hillary Clinton) and Romney had about $90 million.
When it comes to Super PACS, those independent groups that can spend whatever they want as long as they don't coordinate with a candidate, Romney is doing well. Restore Our Future, helmed by former Romney associates, has shelled out $31 million to date, with about half that total going toward attacks on Newt "The Tortoise" Gingrich. The former Speaker has benefited from about $16 million from Winning Our Future, whose major backer Sheldon Adelson, has coughed up about $10 million of the total.
Obama-friendly independent groups haven't really started dishing out the dollars yet, mostly because the incumbent isn't yet in full campaign mode. But the union AFSCME has used $1.5 million so far, all of which went to attacking Mitt Romney.
A few weeks back, Obama flipped his position and is now foursquare behind Super PACs raising money for his re-election. The results for the highest-profile group, Priorities USA, were embarasssing earlier this year - they raised less than $600,000 in January - but they just got a controversial $1 million pledge from Bill Maher (Sarah Palin, whom Maher has called "a cunt" and "a twat," is demanding the group refuse the donation "for the sake of everyone's daughter"). And last year, they raised $19 million.
Once the Dem and Rep candidates are fully in place, expect a lot more money to come loose. The two Karl Rove groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, raked in $51 million last year.
In 2008, Obama's campaign (not counting affiliated groups!) raised around $750 million, more than what Bush and Kerry spent combined in 2004. That figure could crack the billion-dollar mark this time around.
While you're carrying the numbers in your head, check out 3 Reasons Not to Get Worked Up Over Super PACs: