INSTITUTE INDEX: A primary drenched in outside money

(Chart by Alex Kotch/Institute for Southern Studies. For a larger version, click here.)

Total amount of outside spending -- expenditures independent of candidates and parties -- reported to date on state-level races in the May 6 North Carolina primary: $2,470,050

Amount of that outside money spent in the race for a single North Carolina Supreme Court seat: $1,146,691

Percent of all the spending on that single high court race that came from outside groups: almost 77

Amount Justice for All NC, a conservative super PAC that's made large ad buys in recent state Supreme Court races, spent on one TV attack ad against incumbent Justice Robin Hudson, a Democrat who faced two conservative challengers in the officially nonpartisan contest: more than $774,025

Amount Justice for All NC received in an eight-day period in April from the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) based in Washington, DC: $900,000

Amount North Carolina companies and individuals have given to the RSLC so far during the 2013-14 election cycle: over $1.6 million

Amount of that from tobacco giant Reynolds American, the RSLC's largest North Carolina donor: $739,107

Percent of total spending in the Hudson primary that Justice for All's ad buy accounted for: 52

Number of times the ad ran over the 16 days it aired: 1,173

Amount NC Chamber IE, the outside expenditure arm of the leading state business lobby, reported spending in support of Hudson's conservative challengers, Eric Levinson and Jeanette Doran: $345,000

Percent of the NC Chamber IE's total spending on the primary that represents: 86

Percent of the total spent on the North Carolina Supreme Court race that benefited Hudson: 11

Percent of the vote Hudson won to survive the primary: 43

Percent of the total spent on the high court race that benefited conservative challenger Jeanette Doran: 71

Percent of the vote Doran got, knocking her out of the race, which will pit Hudson against Levinson in November: 21

Number of previous North Carolina Supreme Court primary races with this level of spending: 0

Percent of Americans who believe campaign cash is affecting decisions in the courtroom: almost 90

Percent of state judges who believe that: almost 50

(Click on figure to go to source. For more information on outside money in North Carolina state elections, visit