Wealthy donors are giving record sums this cycle to super PACs, which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations. These groups are not allowed to coordinate their advertising with candidates or political parties, but often work in close proximity with the official campaigns.
Since 2015, super PACs have raised $607.7 million and have spent $452 million. The top 50 donors together have supplied $248.2 million—41 percent of the money raised to date.
The largest share of the money has come from donors who have given between $1 million and $5 million. Five contributors giving more than $10 million each contributed 14 percent of the total raised.
Many of the biggest super PAC donors have spread around their money, financing multiple super PACs that back presidential hopefuls and congressional candidates. They hail from various sectors, with many drawing on fortunes made in the energy industry, on Wall Street and in health care.