In fundraising, Romney trumps Obama ahead of conventions
By Mary Kenney
“I just got back from Iowa, where we are being outspent two to one on the air,” read a Friday email written from Obama’s perspective. “Voters there mentioned it to me more than once. We expect Mitt Romney and the Republicans to outspend us.
“Will you make a donation of $5 or more?”
It’s a common appeal during election season, but Obama’s camp is not alone in the projection that the president is behind in campaign
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Monday Republican hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign has an $189.5 million stockpile it will soon use to outspend Obama.
Obama’s campaign has failed to disclose how much it has in reserve but has raised less than the Romney campaign for several months.
Rick Dietz, chair of the Monroe County Democrats, said he wasn’t surprised by the news.
“With campaign spending through Super PACs, it’s hard to imagine Romney not raising more money,” Dietz said. “He’s going to appeal more to billionaires and corporations than Obama is.”
The Democratic Party is robust in Monroe County, and despite national figures, Dietz said the local campaign is strong, though it is not the national campaign’s priority.
“Both the Romney and Obama campaigns are not putting a lot of emphasis on Indiana,” Dietz said. “The organization there will be pretty minimal on both sides. The Senate, House and governor’s races have a lot more attention.”
Dietz said what is important is the source of donations rather than the amount.
“Certainly in the primaries, Romney’s campaign was largely funded by corporations,” Dietz said. “You’ve got a handful of people who are bank rolling campaigns.
“There’s a certain democratic element to raising funds in smaller amounts from regular people. It means there’s a real buy-in to your campaign. If you’re heavily reliant on Super PACs ... that’s an indication you really don’t have that support.”
Priebus said during a CNN interview the Romney campaign will dominate television ads beginning the Republican convention next week in Tampa, Fla. He said this will continue through the fall.
Dietz predicted this will not hurt public recognition of the president and his
“In the campaign, you don’t have to have the most money, but you do have to reach a certain threshold to be competitive,” Dietz said. “After that point, it doesn’t really matter so much what the total is. I’m fairly certain Obama is going to hit that threshold.”
Trailing in spending is a new problem for the Obama campaign, which outspent Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., campaign by more than $400 million in 2008.
His spending exceeded the combined spending of 2004 candidates President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
The candidate who spent the most during election season has won the last three presidential campaigns.
It isn’t only spending in which the Obama campaign lags behind its still undeclared opponent. Romney’s campaign and the RNC raised more than Obama and the Democratic National Committee in May, June and July. Romney raised $101.3 million in July, $26 million more than the Obama campaign.
Many analysts project the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as Romney’s running mate will only improve fundraising efforts.
“We are in control of that outcome, but our time to close the gap is dwindling,” Obama’s campaign email continued. “After three consecutive months of being significantly outraised, it couldn’t be more urgent.”
Romney has stated before his goal to raise $800 million during this election season, $22 million more than Obama raised and more than $400 million more than McCain raised in 2008.
In a June blog post for Obama’s campaign website written by Lauren Peterson, his campaign claimed Obama would be the first president in modern history to be outspent in a reelection campaign.
“We can be outspent and still win, but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win,” the post read, quoting Obama.