Big players dominate the outside spending game. Crossroads (R) might be the single group most synonymous with outside spending, while Americans for Prosperity (R) is out-advertising just about everyone else combined right now. But the flow of money is also diffusing into smaller groups that just focus on one race or candidate, and there’s a bunch worth tracking this year.
— There are four top Senate races where at least one candidate has a personal super PAC. There are three in Alaska, two in North Carolina (one just formed to help Sen. Kay Hagan (D) withstand a deluge of outside money there), one in Louisiana, and a big pro-McConnell group in Kentucky. Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has already spent $1.1 million hammering Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) and expects to be the main source of GOP outside money in the Bluegrass State.
— A few have already popped up in the House, too. One challenger to cocaine-busted Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) already has a million-dollar super PAC backing him up, and former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo is heading up a California Central Valley-focused group backing Reps. Jeff Denham (R) and David Valadao (R).
— With hundreds of thousands available instantly with one stroke of a pen, we can expect many more of these groups to form in the upcoming months. Especially in primaries and at the House level, where a dollar (or, say, a few hundred thousand) goes a longer way, the trend will continue to have important consequences.
The big players will remain important, but local efforts are set to play larger roles across the country in 2014.
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"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."
"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."