The Politico reports that Republican Super PACs plan to spend $1 billion during campaign 2012 to take back the White House and the Congress, an effort which will include a specially focused operation by the Koch brothers, and if the GOPers reach their goals they’ll outspend the Democrats two to one:
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.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections – twice what they had been expected to commit.
Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.
Many other reports have noted that there seems to be an enthusiasm gap: Democrats can’t get as many wealthy Democrats to give their all financially for their 2012 campaign efforts. Not on the GOP side:
“The intensity on the right is white-hot,” said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. “We just can’t leave anything in the locker room. And there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information among outside groups on the center-right.”
In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.
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.
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, 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.
And First Read notes that the campaign is currently being fought largely on Republican turf:
What do this week’s 10 hottest advertising markets (from May 28 to June 4) in the presidential contest tell us? The race is still being fought on GOP turf — all states that George W. Bush carried in 2004 (and three that John Kerry never contested). Six of the top 10 advertising markets are in North Carolina and Virginia, according to NBC/SMG Delta. (Still don’t think that North Carolina is a true battleground?) The other four markets are in Colorado, Ohio, and Iowa. The New York Times confirms that Team Romney has placed “a priority on winning Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia,” plus one more. Come October, if the major battlegrounds are only those first four states, then that will be very good news for Team Obama. But if you start seeing Pennsylvania or Michigan added to this list, then you know the worm has turned. Here are the top 10 advertising markets (in advertising points):
1. Norfolk-Portsmouth (Obama/1500, Romney/1400, Crossroads/730, Priorities/450)
2. Roanoke-Lynchburg (Obama/1500, Romney/1500, Crossroads/750)
3. Greensboro-High Point (Romney/1400, Obama/1100, Crossroads/780)
4. Columbus, OH (Romney/1400, Obama/1000, Crossroads/525, Priorities/365)
5. Raleigh-Durham (Obama/1200, Romney/1100, Crossroads/840)
6. Richmond-Petersburg (Obama/1100, Romney/1100, Crossroads/340, Priorities/315)
7. Cedar Rapids (Obama/1300, Romney/1100, Crossroads/340)
8. Charlotte (Romney/1200, Obama/1000, Crossroads/515)
9. Cincinnati (Romney/1200, Obama/1000, Crossroads/460)
10. Colorado Springs (Obama/1400, Crossroads/630, Priorities/420)
If huge campaign coffers and the performance of the economy are major factors in who’ll become President, then what does it say about the Democrats’ challenges this campaign season?
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.