Obama Spends Big But Loses Ground

Obama spent big on his campaig in the last month, but his polling went the wrong direction.

On a weekend where the baseball world watched the low-budget Oakland A’s & Toronto Blue Jays deliver series sweeps over the lavishly funded New York Yankees and the well-heeled Boston Red Sox respectively, maybe it’s appropriate that the president of the United States also found out that money per se, isn’t enough to buy prosperity. The Los Angeles Times reports that President Obama’s recent media offensive against Republican challenger Mitt Romney cost a cool $58 million. In the meantime, Romney spent less, while raising more. That $58 mil is quite an outlay for the president who is supposedly a man of the people.

What’s most noteworthy is the effect Obama’s spending had in the polls—none at all. According to RealClearPolitics, who averages polls conducted nationwide and has produced credible results over the past election cycles, Obama’s lead over Romney is 1.1 points, after having been close to three over the past several weeks.

The second most noteworthy item is that not only has Obama’s spending offensive put him in reverse, but that dip has taken place over the last few days—in other words, where media reaction to his “You didn’t build that”, remark to business owners was hitting the airwaves and the Internet. We can argue endlessly about what is the precise cause of the poll dip—including whether it’s just the vagaries of polling itself and therefore a mirage—but the coincidental timing of Obama’s Roanoke speech and the subsequent effect on his poll standing can’t be casually dismissed and it surely won’t be within the offices of the re-election campaign.

So for the sake of argument let’s assume we can at least draw a bit of a correlation between the speech at Roanoke, which the president or the White House has yet to seriously defend—and the resulting poll movement. What does it tell us about the American electorate?

Given that Obama seemed to be making political headway with his attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital, it would be a stretch to assume the entire country suddenly had a libertarian epiphany. And as I pointed out last week here at Catholic Vote, the comments at Roanoke, if taken at face value, are not all that notable—if anything, it’s their inherent un-noteworthiness that was really noteworthy. (Confused now?). While it’s always a temptation to assume political movement one way or another is for reasons you personally approve, I wonder if the general electorate at large had the same reaction I did upon hearing the president’s remarks—that there was a sheer arrogance in them that was more than a little off-putting (whether it’s more arrogant than linking to your own posts repeatedly like I’m doing here is another question entirely).

Are the traditionally red states coming home to re-create the electoral map of 2004?

I do believe the poll movement—which includes Romney moving to a slight lead in Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that Obama won in 2008 is a harbinger that the map of ’08 is about to be rendered irrelevant, and we’re about to return back to the maps of 2000 and 2004—which does not necessarily augur a GOP win as in those years, but that the traditionally “red” states are coming home and the election’s going to be eventually fought in the same handful of states that George W. Bush battled Al Gore and John Kerry in.

Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com.



9 thoughts on “Obama Spends Big But Loses Ground

  1. Steve says:

    I wish there was a way to distinguish whether we merely “dislike” a comment and whether the comment is offensive or contrary to our faith. It seems wrong to make David’s first comment hidden from view simply because many readers don’t like it. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, his point about the SuperPACs is valid and shouldn’t be treated like obscenity.

    1. Joe M says:

      Steve. I don’t think it was disliked for being offensive. More likely is that it was disliked for being factually incorrect.

  2. Hector says:

    Mitt Romney and other multi-billionaires with tax shelter bank accounts all over the world clearly demonstrate per se that money is enough to buy prosperity and then some (albeit not necessarily an election although that may be the case too given all his superpacs including a certain 501(c)(4). And Joe M, there’s a difference between what a campaign spends and what superpacs spend. The article you cite only references direct campaign spending, not superpacs. Did you take up David’s imaginary bet? Because if you did, you clearly lose. Try paying attention to details before you ante up next time.

    1. Anon says:

      I bet you liked John Kerry. Kerry’s wealth far surpasses Romney’s. While Romney earned his money, Kerry married his (Heinz ketchup). Then again, the wealthiest President in American history was JFK- who inherited his money. Both Kerry’s wealth and JFK’s don’t seem to matter to the main stream media, liberals, or fellow Democrats. The class warfare advocated by the Obama Administration is frightening, divisive, and will not solve our economic woes. It doesn’t matter if a President is wealthy or not: we need a leader who can created jobs and get us all out of this economic mess. I also want a President who will also protect our religious liberties and stand for moral values.

    2. Joe M says:

      Hector. Your accusation is odd considering that if you looked at the details yourself, you would see that I am correct with or without Super PAC money. As my link indicates, Obama outspent Romney by $27.8 million in one month. The total amount of Super PAC money spent supporting Romney is only $7 million. In fact, twice as much Super PAC money has been spent attacking Romney than attacking Obama. http://projects.wsj.com/super-pacs/ — Try looking at the details yourself before accusing others of not looking at them.

  3. Anon says:

    I see that David is the first commenter on many of these topics. Looks like he is a Media Matters troll! (Is he Braden, patback or Marsha?)Don’t feed the trolls.
    While it is fun to debate them, they get paid for every comment they receive.

  4. David says:

    How much did Romeny and his SUPRE PACS spend in the same time? I bet it eclipses Obama since they have out raised him by considerable margins due to donations from billionaires!

    1. KT1 says:

      And Obama gets most of his money from the Hollywood elite who are so out of touch with reality! I do not want immoral Hollywood influencing our government!

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