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Liberal donors lead in super PAC contributions since ’13

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Sept. 25, 2013: In this file photo, businessman Tom Steyer talks during a meeting to announce the launch of a group called Virginians for Clean Government at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. (AP)

Big-spending Democratic donors take the gold, silver and bronze when it comes to contributions to super PACs so far this election cycle.

Liberal billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg lead the way, having given nearly $30 million to super PACs during the current cycle, according to a new analysis of political spending by the Sunlight Foundation, which tracks money in politics. In third place is Fred Eychaner, a reclusive Chicago businessman who gave $14 million to Democratic super PACs in the 2012 cycle and has already spent $5.7 million this time around.

Whether the trend of big-spending Democratic donors will continue through Election Day isn’t clear, wrote Jacob Fenton and Stan Oklobdzija, researchers for the Sunlight Foundation.

“With five months left before the election, torrents of cash will continue to flow into campaigns, and a few donors dropping $5 million apiece could upend this calculus,” they said in their analysis of super PAC spending, which is based on reports filed Sunday by most of the groups.

The numbers were based on individual contributions to super PACs since January 1, 2013 — leaving out contributions from corporations, unions and other political entities.

The list is partially incomplete because some super PACs, including those run by the billionaire Koch Brothers, do not report their fundraising totals.

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