Wealthy donors and corporations are more heavily invested in this presidential election than at any time since the 1972 Watergate scandal led to stricter campaign- finance laws.

A series of court decisions and regulatory changes in 2010 unraveled federal limits on donations, paving the way for a return of the big players. They are pooling their money in nonprofits, which keep contributor names secret, and super- political action committees, which amassed $350 million through the end of July.

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