Santorum Suspends Campaign, Leaving Super PACs Without Their Candidates

Some campaign finance analysts suggested that the most logical future for defunct super PACs was to wait until Mitt Romney is officially the Republican Party's nominee, and then merge or ally with Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting him. Super PACs, after all, are allowed to coordinate as much as they want with one another, whereas the law prohibits them from working with campaigns.

But those lines separating PAC from campaign have been unclear since the beginning of the primary season and have only blurred as it has dragged on.

Last week, for instance, the Romney campaign announced it had recruited Republican mastermind Ed Gillespie, the founder of American Crossroads, a super PAC that has run ads against Obama and that many insiders believe is aligned ideologically with Romney's super PAC. Carl Forti, an adviser to American Crossroads, is the president of Restore Our Future, and a handful of rich donors overlap in their contributions to both super PACs.

The money used by the super PACs backing candidates who have dropped out is a fraction of what has been spent by the groups supporting Romney and Newt Gingrich. Restore Our Future has spent more than $40 million to help the front-runner win the GOP nomination; Gingrich's group, Winning Our Future, has spent $16 million, most of which has come from the billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson.

Another $4 million has been spent by the main super PAC supporting Ron Paul, and the pro-Obama super PAC run by two former White House aides has so far spent almost $1 million, out of $6 million that it's raised.

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