The Republican Party has a big financial advantage heading into the 2014 election, thanks in large part to the growing presence of conservative outside groups.
But just looking at raw dollars spent by these groups misses a key point: A huge chunk of that money is being used to tear down fellow Republicans.
According to a great new study from the Center for Public Integrity’s Dave Levinthal, conservative super PACs and other outside groups this year have spent nearly three times as much money directly attacking fellow Republicans ($9.7 million) as directly attacking Democrats ($3.7 million).
That $9.7 million is also about 150 times as much as Democratic groups have spent attacking Democratic candidates ($67,000).
Here’s where things get even more interesting: If you take it a step further and combine all spending by conservative and liberal outside groups, a majority of the money spent by these kinds of groups expressly for or against a candidate — 53.8 percent — has been used to attack Republicans ($9.7 million from conservative groups and $13.8 million from liberal groups), while a measly 8.5 percent has been used to attack Democrats.