As Mitt Romney decisively won the Illinois Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, financial reports filed at the Federal Election Commission showed that Romney and a superPAC supporting him yet again spent more than all of his GOP opponents combined.
The reports cover the month of February, which started with Romney's win in Nevada and ended with contests in Michigan and Arizona, which the former Massachusetts governor also won.
In between, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum took three smaller states.
One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.
Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.
The GOP will hold its primaries in Illinois and Louisiana this week. So maybe it's no surprise that residences there are being bombarded by political attack ads, the vast majority of them ending with phrases like this:
(SOUNDBITE OF A POLITICAL AD)
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Mitt Romney and the superPAC supporting him spent more than 15 times as much as Rick Santorum and the superPAC backing him on television ads in Alabama and Mississippi, according to an NPR analysis of data collected by Kantar Media's CMAG unit and reported by the Washington Post.
Santorum won both primaries on Tuesday; Romney finished third in both states.