A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Players Guide 2016

Every election cycle, we compile an ever-evolving set of stories about the groups seeking to influence the federal elections. Today, we are debuting our Players Guide 2016.

Each story includes information about the political leanings of the group — what party, candidate or issues it supports or opposes — as well as information about the group’s leaders, its fundraising efforts and goals, and how it has spent its money so far. Each report will also describe how the group is registered with the federal government — for example, whether it is a super PAC or another type of advocacy group — and we’ll explain the contribution limits (if any) and donor disclosure requirements for each, as well as other legal restrictions, such as the prohibition against super PACs coordinating with a political campaign.

This year, of course, many of the groups in our guide are advocating on behalf of various presidential candidates. Our first crop of entries includes such organizations. But other groups are active in most every election cycle, regardless of who is running for office.

All of the organizations in our list have already been, or are expected to be, active in 2016. It is not a comprehensive list, and additional groups will be added as the election season unfolds.

We’ll also link to any fact-checks we have done on ads put out by the groups. If you see an ad and wonder who’s behind it, make a point to check our Player’s Guide 2016. A button for it is located on the right side of our home page.

This is our fourth year providing a guide to groups seeking to influence federal elections. Our 2010 Players Guide, 2012 Players Guide, and 2014 Players Guide are still available, although they have not been updated since those elections ended.