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Conservative Groups Plan to Spend Close to $400 Million by November

From Friday, but still worth noting, is a rather comprehensive list compiled by the Think Progress blog of all the monetary pledges conservative groups have made for spending in the upcoming November election:

Chamber of Commerce has pledged to spend $75 million

American Crossroads has pledged to spend $52 million

Americans for Prosperity has pledged to spend $45 million

Republican State Leadership Committee has pledged to spend $40 million

American Action Network has pledged to spend $25 million

American Future Fund has pledged to spend up to $25 million

Club for Growth has pledged to spend at least $24 million

National Republican Trust PAC has pledged to spend at least $20 million

– An unnamed health insurance industry coalition has pledged to spend $20 million

National Rifle Association has pledged to spend $20 million

Faith and Freedom Coalition has pledged to spend $11 million

FreedomWorks has pledged to spend $10 million

Americans for Job Security has pledged to spend $10 million

Susan B. Anthony List has pledged to spend $6 million

Our Country Deserves Better (Tea Party Express) has already spent $5 million

Tax Relief Coalition has already spent $4 million

Republican Majority Campaign has pledged to spend $3 million

Campaign for Working Families has pledged to spend $2 million

Heritage Action for America has pledged to spend $1 million

Financial Services Roundtable has already spent $0.5 million

Family Research Council has raised $0.5 million

Citizens United Political Victory Fund has pledged to spend $0.2 million

TOTAL: $399.2 million

Again, these numbers, while staggering, represent what these groups say they will spend, rather than what they have or necessarily will end up doing. There’s an interesting irony here in that both the conservative groups in question and left-wing blogs like Think Progress have an interest in touting these numbers. The groups’ spokesmen brag about them as a means of signaling strength and popular momentum being on their side, while liberals view them as further evidence that conservative special interests are buying the election.

There’s clearly some merit to both claims, but a lot hinges upon the profile of the average individual donor. With caps on individual and corporate donations to independent political expenditures lifted by the Supreme Court, and no DISCLOSE Act to get a sense of most groups’ major donors, however, suspicions abound that wealthy individuals play an outsize role in funding a majority of these groups.

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