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Trump Super PACs Already in High Gear

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U.S. News, April 24, 2019

THOUGH IT MAY FEEL LIKE the early days of the 2020 campaign season, outside groups working on behalf of President Donald Trump have already spent more than $11.8 million on campaign communications supporting his reelection.

The cadre of PACs and super PACs around the president got an early jump, spending more than $10.4 million on independent expenditures in 2017 and 2018. Independent expenditures are messages that expressly advocate for or against a candidate and include radio, television and digital advertisements as well as old-fashioned mailings.

Pro-Trump groups have poured another $1.4 million into the race so far this year, including more than $1.3 million from the Great America PAC and the Committee to Defend the President on phone and online voter contacts and TV ads.

Those figures are a far cry from what liberal outside groups have spent thus far on direct messaging. Since 2017, a little more than $450,000 was spent on negative messaging against Trump, with the Mad Dog PAC leading the way with $190,000 on billboards and "aerial banner advertising."

So far, no Democratic presidential candidate has seen more than $1,000 in advertisements directly advocating for their election.

While Republican organizations are mostly spending on ads emphasizing Trump's achievements in office, at least one has already set its sights on the still growing Democratic field.

Club for Growth, a major conservative super PAC, took aim at former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke in an attack ad, painting O'Rourke as having an "indelible sense of entitlement" and negatively contrasting his qualifications with those of former President Barack Obama.

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