If you go by some reports, the fundraising outlook for the major presidential campaigns and the party-affiliated super PACs is weighted heavily towards Republicans this year – so much so that the Democrats might as well pack it in.
One article from Politico in particular, GOP groups plan record $1 billion blitz, focuses on how the anticipated fundraising and spending of the vast right-wing conspiracy, fueled by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, has placed the President and his fellow Democrats at a vast disadvantage.
Here is how Politico characterizes the plight of the poor Democrats:
The Republican financial plans are unlike anything seen before in American politics. If the GOP groups hit their targets, they likely could outspend their liberal adversaries by at least two-to-one, according to officials involved in the budgeting for outside groups on the right and left.
By contrast (to the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney’s campaign), Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s reelection, has struggled to raise money, and now hopes to spend about $100 million. Obama’s initial reluctance to embrace such groups constrained fundraising on the Democratic side, which is now trying to make up for lost time.
The table below presents the data points that were used for this analysis. What causes some head-scratching about it though is what is missing from this picture.
President Obama raised more money in 2008 than may be raised in any election again for the foreseeable future. While it is understood that the President’s poor economy will suppress his own fundraising totals this year, the apparatus that his campaign has in place – including hundreds of more full-time staff members than Mitt Romney’s campaign – will surely not disappoint him as the Politico article suggests.
The article also seems to neglect to reference other partisan supporters of the president, including financial backers from the major environmental and gay rights movements. If nothing else, The Obama campaign’s finance staff must be capitalizing on the President’s flip-flop on gay marriage like a gold rush.
Also, lumping labor unions into one nebulous estimate of fundraising potential …
much of labor’s money will be spent on talking directly with union members and other workers
…belies the powerhouse field organization that will most definitely be funded in the this election cycle, just like it was to mobilize around the passage of President Obama’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Patient Care Act or Obamacare.
Let’s not forget as well the power of incumbency, especially when the incumbent can rely on the broader national news media to carry his message, disregard negative news about him and his administration, and pounce on every morsel of negativity about Mitt Romney that the Democrats can unearth.
These are just a few things that articles such as this one – and there will be thousands more like it in the coming months of the campaign – lack in their pursuit of framing this as a race of the underdog president, which is quite opposite the case in reality.
|Obama Campaign||$750 million||DEM||2008|
|Priorities USA Action||$100 million||DEM||2012|
|Labor unions||$200 – $400 million||DEM||2012|
|McCain Campaign||$370 million||GOP||2008|
|Restore Our Future||$150 million||GOP||2012|
|Koch-related organizations||$395 million||GOP||2012|
|American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS||$300 million||GOP||2012|
|U.S. Chamber of Commerce||$100 million||GOP||2012|
|Y G Action Fund||$30 million||GOP||2012|
|American Action Network||$30 million||GOP||2012|
|Congressional Leadership Fund||$5 million||GOP||2012|
|Republican Jewish Coalition||$6 million||GOP||2012|
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