An impressive coalition of conservative fundraisers is planning on spending a billion dollars to defeat President Barack Obama and take control of Congress.
“The intensity on the right is white-hot,” said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. “We just can’t leave anything in the locker room. And there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information among outside groups on the center-right.”
In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.
The $1 billion in outside money is in addition to the traditional party apparatus – the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee – which together intend to raise at least $800 million.
The Republican financial plans are unlike anything seen before in American politics. If the GOP groups hit their targets, they likely could outspend their liberal adversaries by at least two-to-one, according to officials involved in the budgeting for outside groups on the right and left.
By contrast, Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s reelection, has struggled to raise money, and now hopes to spend about $100 million. Obama’s initial reluctance to embrace such groups constrained fundraising on the Democratic side, which is now trying to make up for lost time.
The sums involved are staggering. But we shouldn’t expect the Obama campaign to complain much. After all, they outspent John McCain by 3-1 in 2008 and raised a then record $750 million.
The important news is where this money is going to be spent. The GOP plans to match the Obama machine’s grass roots organizing precinct by precinct. In states like Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida which are all likely to be nail biters, being able to keep up with the Obama campaign by matching his organizational efforts will negate the significant advantage the president enjoyed in 2008.