Post-convention ad crush, television spending spree to get even heavier
by Beth Fouhy, Associated Press
September 09, 2012 12:25 AM | 799 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign rally Friday in Nashua, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign rally Friday in Nashua, N.H.
From left, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and Vice President Joe Biden stand together on stage at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Field on Friday in Portsmouth, N.H.
From left, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and Vice President Joe Biden stand together on stage at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Field on Friday in Portsmouth, N.H.
NEW YORK — Now the campaign ad crush and TV spending spree really begins in the presidential race.

The TV ad campaign, with total spending expected to swell to $1.1 billion, starts up again now that the party conventions are over and the two-month sprint to the general election is under way.

Just over one-third of that amount has been spent so far, according to the Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks campaign ad spending.

That means the campaigns and independent groups will spend more on the air in the final eight weeks of the presidential contest than they did in the first five months.

The biggest change is on the Republican side, with Mitt Romney now free to tap millions in general election funds he had collected but could not spend until becoming the party’s official nominee. That means the GOP’s significant spending advantage over President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies will grow, making it the first time that an incumbent will have been outspent on the air.

National polls show Obama and Romney in a virtual dead heat, but only eight states are considered true battlegrounds: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Obama carried them all against Republican John McCain in 2008, but they are too close to call for now.

Flush with new cash, the Romney campaign poured nearly $5 million into ads in those states beginning this weekend. A series of state-specific ads hit Obama on defense spending, business regulations and housing; another ad uses President Bill Clinton’s words from the 2008 primary race against Obama.

Republican-leaning independent groups led by the American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS kept Romney in the game throughout the summer while he regrouped from a tough GOP primary contest. Priorities USA Action, the only significant pro-Obama super PAC, has been far outpaced by the conservative-leaning groups.

Those and other independent groups emerged after a 2010 Supreme Court decision loosened campaign finance laws, allowing wealthy individuals to spend unlimited sums on political activity as long as they stay separate from the campaigns themselves. The Crossroads groups are backed by former President George W. Bush’s longtime political counselor Karl Rove. Americans for Prosperity, another pro-Romney group, was founded by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Together, the Crossroads groups spent about $66 million on ads through the end of August. Of that, $58 million came from Crossroads GPS, which is organized as a social welfare group under tax laws and thus does not have to disclose its donors. AFP, which also does not disclose its donors, spent $35.2 million during that time.

The Obama campaign spent $166 million on ads through Aug. 30, compared with $74 million by the Romney campaign and $22 million by the Republican National Committee. But now, with Romney’s general election resources available and the Republican-leaning groups continuing to air ads, the Obama campaign seems set to be swamped on TV.

“It will be no holds barred on the Republican side. All that money the Obama campaign has been expecting Romney to spend on ads will finally start to flow,” Kantar/CMAG vice president Elizabeth Wilner said. “The Obama campaign is betting on their message, while the Romney campaign is betting on tonnage.”

Obama campaign officials acknowledged Friday how outmatched they are by Republicans on TV but said they had enough money to compete. They said their ability to identify voters and get them to the polls would help offset the advertising disadvantage.

Romney and the independent groups spent $245 million on ads through the end of August while Obama and his allies spent $188 million, according to information from media buyers provided to The Associated Press. Obama’s team front-loaded its ad spending in the spring, but Republicans caught up in June and began outspending Obama by mid-July, often by a 2-1 margin.
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Church State
September 09, 2012
Mitt Romney the devout Mormon, may have lowered his standards to win this Presidental election. For decades The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) - The Mormons and its faithful church members have taken a strong, and very vocal unalterable stance against gambling in any form including lotteries, sweepstakes, racetracks, and casinos. Sheldon Adelson (CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Venetian Macao Ltd.) son of a Ukranian Jewish immigrant (also financier of Romney's recent visit to Isreal), and his wife recently gave $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC named Restore Our Future. Adelson the Las Vegas casino magnate has pledged to spend $100 million to defeat Obama. Adelson's very large contributions can easily make Romney a shoe in for the President of the United States. It will probably be after Romney officially wins the GOP nomination at the National Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida in August 2012 that the American public can expect this Super PAC money to be spent in massive negative campaign ads against Obama.
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