The Republican candidates and a few independent groups have spent nearly $10 million on TV and radio ads in seven states that vote on Super Tuesday, and more than half of that total comes from the Mitt Romney-backing Restore Our Future, which is running spots criticizing Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
The infusion of cash into this coming week's contests has swelled total ad spending in the GOP presidential race to more than $75 million, according to a review of Federal Election Commission data and information provided to the Associated Press by several media buyers.
About $40 million has been spent by the Romney campaign and Restore Our Future to support the former Massachusetts governor.
The latest figures provide more evidence of the oversized role that these groups, known as super political action committees, have played in the campaign.
Super PACs were spawned by a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that eased campaign finance regulations for corporations, unions and wealthy individuals. These groups can raise and spend unlimited funds as long as they do not coordinate directly with a candidate.
That's a whole lot of money being tossed around, yet its producing only dismal results.
As the primary election process drags on, Republican candidates look less and less appealing. A new study finds that the contest has left only one in 10 adults with a more favorable view of the Republican party, and 70 percent of those questioned could only come up with negative words to describe the primary race. "Unenthusiastic," "painful," "lesser of two evils," and "depressed" were among the words or phrases participants used. The poll specifically suggested that negative campaigning is responsible for creating a poor image of the candidates.