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The Insiders
Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 05/31/2012

The end may be near

Ed is undoubtedly correct when he says that Mitt Romney is in for some rainy days despite his recent rise in the polls. But at the risk of sounding like some guy on a street corner screaming “THE END IS NEAR,” let me repeat: Mitt Romney is poised to massively outspend Barack Obama. Reports yesterday said that a single donor with a long track record of massive donations to right-wing causes is going to give Karl Rove’s super PAC $400 million, as part of an estimated minimum expenditure of a $1 billion Crossroads effort.  That will buy a lot of umbrellas. 

Ed countered yesterday that I am being an alarmist and said he believes Obama will outspend Romney.  But his evidence was weak.  He cited the disparity in the 2008 race, when Obama swamped John McCain in money.  Hardly relevant today.  He cited Obama’s super PAC,  Priorities USA, spending. So far this has been paltry, and nowhere near what is required to keep Romney from gaining strength. 

As I have argued repeatedly, one of the underreported stories of this campaign is that large donors are not supporting the president the way they did in 2008 and at the levels necessary to withstand and counter a $1 billion onslaught.

Finally, Ed notes that regular PACs have given slightly more to Democrats than to Republicans so far, a number that will undoubtedly flip, as it always does, to the party that looks to be winning, and that big labor always gives Democrats an edge. It is true that labor went all out for Obama in 2008, but all of its contributions were about the same as one check from the GOP-backing Koch brothers, and one wonders whether labor will duplicate its support for Obama in 2012, given its disappointment with the president.

I’m not whining about the Republicans fundraising advantage because I think it’s wrong morally (the whole system qualifies on that score) or politically (the rules are the rules — for now).  I’m pointing it out because if the Democrats don’t get in the game, “the end is near.”

By  |  10:34 AM ET, 05/31/2012

 
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