Charles and David Koch arguably have been liberals' biggest bogeymen of the 2012 election. Just as conservatives have come to see George Soros as the mastermind of a shadowy leftist network, the billionaire brothers have become synonymous with the dark-money machine working to defeat Barack Obama. By their own admission, the Kochs have been raising millions to sway voters. At a closed-door gathering of like-minded megadonors in 2011, Charles Koch declared that the upcoming election would be a battle "for the life or death of this country" and that "we gotta do better than" the president's expected $1 billion warchest.
So just how much money have the brothers poured into the election? That's a tricky question, as we'll see in a moment. But first, how much are the Kochs, their companies, and Americans for Prosperity (the dark money group they're connected to) known to have spent so far? Click on a state for a detailed breakdown.
In total, Koch Industries and its affiliates Georgia-Pacific and Flint Hills Resources have given more than $2.2 million to candidates and parties during this election cycle. Koch Industries recently asserted that its support for candidates "is not based on party affiliation, and we support both Republicans and Democrats who support market-based policies and solutions." Yet 95 percent of its corporate donations in 2011 and 2012 have gone to Republicans. Charles and David Koch have given a combined total of $628,100 to federal and state candidates and parties during this election cycle, 96 percent of it to Republicans.