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Donors Spent $200 Million On Failed 2016 Candidates

| by Sean Kelly
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of FloridaRepublican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida

Wealthy donors blew $200 million on failed presidential candidates so far in the 2016 race, according to a Yahoo Finance report.

Since the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010, which allowed unlimited campaign spending, wealthy donors have donated a whopping $203.5 million to super political action committees for failed Republican presidential candidates alone.

The former GOP candidates who were given the most cash include former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, whose super PAC spent $94.2 million on his campaign, while Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida's super PAC spent $27.3 million.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson also spent significant amounts of money on their campaigns through super PACs. The least amount of money spent by a super PAC was $0.7 million by former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania's campaign.

These figures don't include campaign spending, which include tens of millions spent by the candidates. Bush alone racked up $30.6 million in campaign spending.

Although the money being poured into campaigns has reached record figures, the spending may not pay off in the long run.

"The money going into super PACs is not determinative in most elections," political scientist Adam Bonica told Yahoo Finance. "Whether these donors give as shrewdly to politicians as they run their businesses is probably a resounding ‘no.’”

Infamous billionaires Charles and David Koch have spent close to $900 million on the 2016 race, Slate reported. In 2012, the year that saw the rise of the super PAC, the Koch brothers spent $400 million on the election.

Donors are always gambling with money when donating to candidates, but the growing popularity of candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is running for the Democratic nomination and real estate developer Donald Trump, who haven't been bought and sold, has highlighted the importance of voting and put a spotlight on excessive campaign spending.

Trump has spent less than his rivals in a mostly self-funded campaign, but has continuously taken lead in major polls and remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

Sources: Yahoo Finance (2), Slate / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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