8 Questions

Dan Balz on topics that will shape the 2012 campaign in the final 100 days

Question 3: Which campaign is likely to have the advantage in money?

When the campaign started, few thought Obama could be outspent by his Republican opponent. Lately, his campaign has been rattling the tin cup, singing a tale of woe about what Romney and the Republicans will do. The truth is, neither side will be short on money.

The president raised about $800 million in 2008 and will have about the same this year. Romney came out of the primaries with his campaign bank account nearly depleted, but he and the Republican National Committee have been raising money at a prodigious clip since then -- faster than Obama and the Democrats.

There is so much money sloshing through this election that voters in the most contested states will be saturated with ads, phone calls, mail and knocks on the door. With the electorate already polarized, this amounts to too much money chasing too few voters.

Republican super PACs potentially give Romney the advantage -- and give the Obama team nightmares. "This may be a decisive factor in the election," said Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist. "The president and his team will not be able to outspend Romney like they outspent McCain. That by itself will make this election a lot more like 2000 and 2004."

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