More than a third of the awards advertising tied to the presidential race has been funded by nonprofit groups that will never have to reveal their donors, suggesting that a significant portion of the 2012 elections will be wrapped in a vast cloak of secrecy.
The bulk of the secret money spent so far has come from conservative groups seeking to propel a Republican into the White House, advertising data show. Millions of dollars in additional spending from both sides has poured into legislative races, such as the Senate contest in Massachusetts, that could help determine which party controls Congress in 2013.
The flow of funds is part of a wave of spending by outside groups — particularly super PACs, which have few limits on their activities — that has quickly come to dominate the 2012 presidential contest.
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