The Romney Super PAC Effect

by on December 31st, 2010
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COMMENTARY | In a Reuters report dated Feb. 20, Restore Our Future, a Super PAC (Political Action Committee) was reported to have spent $13.5 million dollars in support of Mitt Romney’s campaign. This type of organization can raise unlimited funds and are designated independent from any particular candidate. They further stated that despite the huge expenditure they still $16.3 million dollars in their war chest. It seems that by the tenor of this campaign that more of the same is in store as far as fund-raising is concerned. Newt Gingrich was the main target for the spending wherein a total of $12.3 million was spent on ads targeted towards him. This was very likely because Newt Gingrich was at one point Romney’s closest competitor. Now the Super PAC has announced that it has earmarked $7.7 million to target Rick Santorum who is on a collision course with Romney as they head to the Michigan primary on Feb. 28.

While Romney is still ahead in the tally for the delegate count he is at this point at the very best a presumptive favorite. He no longer is the prohibitive favorite. It seemed for a while that he was destined to be the inevitable winner. Momentum was on his side and his considerable organizational and financial advantages seemed to no longer be needed to handle his GOP rivals. Those considerable resources were of course being trained towards Obama and the campaign for the presidency against the Democratic Party.

It seems that the well-oiled machine of Romney overlooked the unlikely resurgence of Santorum. With Santorum’s upset wins in three state caucuses his flagging candidacy was more than just revived. It was energized to the point where he has received more campaign contributions. He now has more media exposure. The ominous thing for Romney is that this time in Michigan he is trailing Santorum in the polls.

For Romney to win he, while I believe he is correct in saying that he need not apologize for his being successful financially, challenging people to $10,000 bets is simply too much for the common man to comprehend. There is that unavoidable disconnect when a candidate seems to be insulated from any financial worry while the whole country suffers from a recession. Obviously the idea is to relate not to separate. The Super PAC spending isn’t helping with the disconnect problem. It is emphasizing it.

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