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Super PACs a Mixed Blessing for Second-Tier Democrats

Early spending in the Democratic presidential race highlights how super PACs may play a key role in many campaigns even as the candidates rail against the committees.

"The Democratic Party's liberal activists warn of super PACs drowning out the voices of average voters and have sought to make rejecting big money a litmus test for Democratic candidates, CNN reports. "In a field crowded with candidates competing for campaign dollars, however, super PACs offer a route for little-known candidates to break out."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker are the only democratic presidential aspirants who are aligned with a super PAC so far. A half-dozen of the 14 declared candidates have said they will not accept super PAC support.

The situation for the Democrats is analogous to what happened on the Republican side in both 2012 and 2016, when the campaigns of second-tier candidates were kept afloat for months by sympathetic super PACs. The Democrats have not had such a wide-open nominating contest since the 2010 Citizens United ruling remade the world of campaign financing.

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