Trevor Potter, Stephen Colbert's lawyer, predicts an expanded role for the organizations.
Despite mixed results this cycle, super PACs and other outside fundraising groups aren't going anywhere. In fact, they're settling in for the long haul.
"I think we're just beginning to see the influence of super PACs and their nonprofit affiliates, and how that plays out," said Trevor Potter, a Washington lawyer perhaps best known as the legal counsel to comedian Stephen Colbert's super PAC. Potter spoke at The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum.
More than $1 billion was spent by outside groups this cycle. Republican-leaning groups, in particular, spent millions on races that went nowhere -- most notably Mitt Romney's presidential bid. But a poor track record isn't going to turn either Democrats or Republicans away from the funding mechanisms, and it's not going to turn off donors, Potter said.
It just doesn't make sense to risk being out-raised by the other guy. Aggressive fundraising by candidates up and down the ballot, and the fear of being vulnerable to super PAC spending from the other side, is the new normal.
So is misleading advertising.