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Obama “will be outspent” by Romney. But who cares?

NEWS FLASH: Romney is doing a better job of getting his supporters to write big checks lately. $106 million in June, compared with Obama’s measly $71 million. (A record-setting month in fundraising, BTW.)

But, um, who cares?

The email that I received from the Obama campaign

Romney’s success shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Obama’s riding on the Robin Hood platform — take from the rich to give to the poor in every possible way, from health care reform to deficit spending to immigration. So it makes sense that wealthy conservatives who don’t buy into the Warren Buffet rule will fork over a small amount of cash to Romney in the hope that it safeguards their wealth. Oh, and it’ll help keep rings off gay folks’ fingers.

I’m no fundraising expert, but why does this whole funding race matter? So Romney out-raised Obama for two consecutive months…but Obama is still WAY ahead of Romney. According to Reuters today:

The former Massachusetts governor and the RNC have raised at least $389 million to date, less than the $512 million Obama has collected for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to federal disclosures and Monday’s announcements.

But does money buy votes? And more importantly, is it possible to win an election in this country even if you’re out-raised?

I’m reminded of California’s current governor, democrat Jerry Brown, whose campaign strategy in 2010 was fairly low-key: highlight his success as a governor in the 1970s and let conservative rival, Meg Whitman, burn through her own cash.

Whitman ended up outspending Jerry Brown 6-to-1. She spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $160 million, more than $100 million of which went into getting her face onto every Californian’s TV. That level of fundraising and spending didn’t guarantee her victory; even with 6x the money, Whitman lost.

And while California isn’t a miniature of the whole US, at least it can be done.

And to put Whitman’s spending in perspective—just for fun—if the election was held today, Romney would have had to raise about $3.1 BILLION to out-raise Obama in the way that Whitman out-raised Brown. Romney is currently at about 13% of that target. That’s assuming, of course, Obama ceases all fundraising right now.

Ultimately most Americans, myself included, already know who they’re voting for in November and the latest poll shows Obama ahead. So while it’s a great attempt at playing to fears that Romney’s ability to milk his friends for cash will land him in the Oval Office, I will not give Obama pity money. That is, unless I get a t-shirt or something.

Oh, and then there’s THIS…just for fun.


One thought on “Obama “will be outspent” by Romney. But who cares?

  1. One of the most exaggerated money gaps in recent political memory was in 2010, in the race for California state governor between Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown. $250 million was spent on the election, of which $177 million was Whitman’s alone – and of that $141 million was from Meg Whitman herself. In comparison, her major opponent, and California governor from 1975 to 1983, Jerry Brown, spent a mere $36 million. This represented not just a 2-to-1 spending advantage, or even a 3-to-1 advantage, but an almost 5-to-1 spending advantage for Whitman. While fundraising is always somewhat unpredictable, I believe I can safely guarantee that Mitt Romney will not be able to outspend Barack Obama to the tune of 4.91 dollars for every one of Obama’s. With nary a Super-PAC involved, Whitman had the most exaggerated monetary advantage of any candidate in recent memory.

    Posted by mercadee | August 10, 2012, 9:38 am

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