New analysis by the Institute for Southern Studies  finds that Super PACs and other outside funding groups spent more than $14.5 million on state-level races in North Carolina in 2012.
Other key findings include:
- 90% of the outside spending on North Carolina state races came from just 10 groups. Seven of the top 10 are conservative/Republican-leaning committees and three are liberal/Democratic-leaning.
- The single biggest outside money group in 2012 was the D.C.-based Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $4.9 million on ads and other communications to benefit GOP Gov. Pat McCrory. The RGA’s donor list is dominated by national corporations, including N.C. businesses Pike Electric, RAI Services/Reynolds Tobacco, Duke Energy and Art Pope’s Variety Stores.
- The N.C. governor’s race attracted the most money, drawing more than $8.1 million in outside spending. Other groups spending on behalf of McCrory included Real Jobs N.C., Americans for Prosperity and the Constitution Trust. N.C. Citizens for Progress was the leading group backing Democrat Walter Dalton, spending $2.6 million to benefit his gubernatorial campaign. N.C. Citizens for Progress’ biggest backer has been the D.C.-based Democratic Governors Association, whose biggest national contributors included various unions.
- The contest between justices Paul Newby and Sam Ervin for the N.C. Supreme Court attracted more than $2.8 million in spending from outside groups — 89% of which benefited the Republican-favored Newby.
To coincide with the Institute’s report, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections  is releasing a new video this week to highlight how the Citizens United Supreme Court decision is damaging our democracy.
You can watch the NCVCE video below, and be sure to check out the Institute’s chart on the top outside donors who played a role in the 2012 elections: