Monday, June 4, 2012

Here it Comes – Politico Confirms Conservative Plans to Spend $1 Billion to Defeat Mr. Obama

Can a Few Billionaires Buy a Presidential Election?  Probably So

For almost a year this Forum has been warning of the onslaught of outside money funded by Conservative billionaires that will be used to defeat President Obama in the fall.  We have consistently said that the funds would be north of $1 billion while other reports put the number much lower.  Now Politico confirms the $1 billion number, meaning that since this is still more than 5 months before the election, the number could go even higher.

Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.

The unique thing here isn’t this forecast, ever since Mr. Obama was elected it was known that huge sums would come from Conservatives to defeat him.  What is unusual is the degree to which the Democrats have marched forward with their heads in the sand, oblivious to this flood of money.

The consequences of the conservative resurgence in fundraising are profound. If it holds, Romney and his allies will likely outraise and outspend Obama this fall, a once-unthinkable proposition.

Really, once unthinkable by whom?  Oh yes, those living in the Land of Denial.  Those of us in Reality World knew this was coming and said so.

Mr. Obama is raising large amounts for his own campaign, but that is being matched by Mr. Romney, so the outside money could easily mean the President will be outspent by at least a half billion or more. 

The $1 billion in outside money is in addition to the traditional party apparatus – the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee – which together intend to raise at least $800 million.

Yet this is something Democrats have just ignored.

By contrast, 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.

In economics the Law of Diminishing Returns says that each additional dollar will have less effect than the previous dollar, and that Law along with Republican over-reach may well save the President.  And given Mr. Romney’s flaws it may be that no amount of money can elect him.  So even with all the money in the world the Republicans may not be able to convince the average voter that cutting taxes for the rich, cutting Medicare, and generating more pollution is a good thing.

 But given the choice, wouldn’t you want to be the candidate with more money, not the one with less?  This election is Mr. Romney’s to lose, not Mr. Obama’s to win.

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