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APPC calculates dollars spent by four highest spending third party groups on deceptive TV ads attacking or supporting Republican presidential contenders

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kathleen Hall Jamieson at or 215-898-9400

Drawing on spending estimates from Kantar Media CMAG and the fact checking of, the Annenberg Public Policy Center has created a dollars in deception measure (DDs) calculating dollars spent on televised presidential third party ads by the groups calling themselves “The Red White and Blue Fund,” “Winning Our Future,” “Restore Our Future,” and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

From Iowa through Wisconsin, 23.3 million (56.7%) of the 41.1 million dollars were spent on 19 ads containing deceptive or misleading claims.

Most of the dollars in deception (an estimated $20.8 million) were aired by the pro-Romney super PAC “Restore Our Future” (estimated 8.8 million DDs–dollars in deception–attacking former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an estimated 9.4 million DDs attacking former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and an estimated 2.6 million in DDs making the case for the election of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney).

“Restore Our Future” outspent the pro-Gingrich and pro-Santorum super PACs by 20 to 1.

The study also found:

  • The other three third party presidential groups spent an estimated 2.5 million DDs attacking former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:
  • The pro-Santorum super PAC “Red White and Blue Fund” spent an estimated $685,050
  • The pro-Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future” an estimated $917,670
  • The pro-Democratic labor union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees an estimated $846,380

“Restore Our Future” spent DDs against Gingrich and Santorum on such deceptions as:

  • “Gingrich not only teamed up with Nancy Pelosi on global warming, but together they co-sponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China‚Äôs brutal