By: Lena Masri and Mia Garchitorena

Money is likely to play a big role in the 2016 presidential election.

This month The Supreme Court lifted restrictions on election spending, removing a decades-old cap on the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In 2012, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who were the two major party candidates for president spent close to $1.12 billion — not counting the millions more spent by the parties and outside groups, according to Overall, the presidential race cost more than $2.6 billion in that cycle. But next year’s election is expected to be even more expensive. Hillary Clinton, the U.S.’s first female presidential candidate, raised over $9 million in contributor funds in 2014 and has set a $2.5 billion fundraising goal for 2016. 

So who are the donors so far?

We want to create a chart that shows all the 62 groups that are so far known to be associated with potential 2016 presidential candidates.

Here is a link to the data:

We would also like to make charts that show how much money was spent back in 2012 just to give an idea of how much money can be spent on the 2016 election now that even more money has been allowed to pour into politics. Here is a link to the data:

Potential sources:

Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

Dr. Timothy Lukes, Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University

Deborah Hellman, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

Dr. Thomas R Marshall, Professor at Political Science, University of Texas Arlington

Chris Arterton 
Professor of Political Management
Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University

MEDIA CONTACTS: George Washington University

John Brandt
Jill Sankey