Super PAC Spending: Who's Helped?

Potential voters are broadly concerned about so-called "Super PAC" spending in the presidential election, with a general perception it's doing more for Mitt Romney than for Barack Obama.

Seventy-five percent of registered voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll express concern about the amount of money being spent on campaign advertising by companies, unions and wealthy individuals. Slightly fewer than half are "very" concerned.

See PDF with full results and tables here.

As to the beneficiary, registered voters by 41-29 percent, a 12-point margin, think Romney, rather than Obama, has mainly been benefiting from this ad spending. That reflects partisan differences: Republicans see Obama as the beneficiary by an insignificant 8-point margin, while Democrats far more broadly think it's mainly helping Romney, 59-19 percent.

Concern overall is lower among Republicans than others in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats say they're concerned about outside spending on campaign ads, including 51 percent who are "very" concerned. The numbers are similar among independents, but among Republicans drop to 67 and 38 percent, respectively.

High-level alarm - being "very" concerned - peaks at 63 percent among liberals, compared with 39 percent among conservatives.

METHODOLOGY - This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 7-9, 2012, among a random national sample of 826 registered voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4 points, including design effect. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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