The Fundraising Advantage You Don't Hear About

Funny, but we don’t hear much of anything about this from any of the networks:

While the Bush campaign has spent more than $86 million on political advertising so far, the official Kerry campaign has spent a little more than $73 million. But when the calculations include the $42.4 million spent on political ads by pro-Democratic 527s, the total Democratic message has outpaced that of the Republicans by $32 million, Smith said.

It’s safe to assume that this would be a screaming-headline “threat to democarcy” if those numbers were reversed, particularly if pro-Bush groups were spending more than half again as much money as the candidate himself. It’s also worth mentioning that these commercial buys are a huge cash cow for the TV networks and stations, one the news departments would be wary of criticizing even if they weren’t in ideological agreement with the leftie 527’s.

That said, with over $115 million spent on ads by and for his candidacy to date, the fact that Kerry has never had so much as a high single-digit opinion poll lead can’t be heartening to anybody on the hate-Bush side.

There’s also this, the Kerry campaign’s plan to “go dark” on advertising buys for the month of August. In the old days, that would be a concession; this year, it’s just a tacit admission that the “independent” 527’s (run by some of the most influential Democratic power brokers in the country) will be doing the Bush-bashing and (maybe) Kerry-boosting in place of the actual campaign.