October 31, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In past presidential races, a $7.5-million media campaign could give an outside group like the National Rifle Assn. a significant profile. But that sum doesn't go nearly as far in this year's contest: super PACs and advocacy groups have already reported spending more than $892 million on television ads and other forms of voter outreach - more than three times than at this point in the 2008 campaign, according to the latest tally by the Center for Responsive Politics . That's prompted some groups, such as the NRA, to think differently about how to reach voters on the airwaves - and it explains why swing state residents are having a hard time finding any television program that offers refuge from the relentless deluge of political ads. INTERACTIVE: Battleground states map Typically, political media strategists aim to run their ads during local newscasts, to capture viewers who are purportedly more civically engaged and likely to vote.
October 30, 2012 |
My latest column lists my picks for the best and worst political advertisements of this fall's presidential campaign. But don't take my word for it; see them yourself. Here are links to the commercials I mentioned in the column: Best positive ad, Obama: Obama for America, “Determination” Best positive ad, Romney: Mitt Romney, “Too Many Americans” Most effective negative ad, Obama: Obama for America, “My Job” Most effective negative ad, Romney: Mitt Romney, “Right Choice” Best celebrity ad, Democratic: MoveOn.org, “Vote” (Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington)
September 26, 2012 |
Here's a short list of Democrats who secretly hope Mitt Romney gets his presidential campaign turned around fast and gives President Obama a run for his money: Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic Senate candidate in North Dakota; Jon Tester, the Democratic senator from Montana; and Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Democratic Senate candidate in Nevada. Why? Because they're all in close Senate races - and they're all worried about a potential flood of Republican money into their states if Romney's campaign begins to look like a losing proposition.
August 31, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- "Super PACs" and other outside groups have reported spending more than $119 million on the presidential campaign since Mitt Romney unofficially clinched the Republican nomination in early April, a sum that underscores the profound impact independent political groups are having on the 2012 presidential race. Two-thirds of that money has gone into television ads and other efforts opposing President Obama's reelection and backing Romney's bid, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Times Data Desk.
August 29, 2012 |
TAMPA, Fla. - A little more than a year ago, Frank VanderSloot contributed $1million to a "super PAC" supporting Mitt Romney. Now, the Idaho-based health products executive is a sought-after donor at the Republican National Convention as he makes the rounds of independent groups backing the GOP ticket. On Monday, VanderSloot and his wife met privately for an hour and a half with Karl Rove, the former top advisor to President George W. Bush and the strategist for the GOP heavyweight group American Crossroads.
August 22, 2012 |
Todd Akin, after defying party leadership with his decision to remain as the GOP candidate in the Missouri Senate race, has a new problem that could derail his rogue candidacy: money. The Missouri congressman had already been outspent more than 4-to-1 by his Democratic opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, before he thrust himself into the national spotlight by declaring that women can't get pregnant from "legitimate rape. " Tuesday's coordinated effort to persuade Akin to drop out of the race saw the deep pockets that Akin could have relied on -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee and outside groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS -- pledge that they won't spend a dollar to help him win. So Akin is calling on small-dollar donors to help "fight the party bosses.
August 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Another ominous sign for embattled Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin: the heavyweight conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are pulling out of the state and halting their advertising against Akin's opponent, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. “The act speaks for itself,” Crossroads spokesman Nate Hodson said Monday. Akin caused a furor Sunday after suggesting in a television interview that women who have experienced “legitimate rape” can biologically prevent a pregnancy.
August 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Connie Mack IV won the Florida Republican primary Tuesday night and will take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in what will be one of the most contested U.S. Senate races of the year. Mack, a four-term congressman who is married to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs), handily defeated retired Army Col. Mike McCalister and former Rep. Dave Weldon in a Republican primary that was never much of a contest. With 35% of the vote counted, Mack had almost 60% of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
July 13, 2012 |
Priorities USA Action, the “super PAC” supporting President Obama, raised $6.1 million last month, its co-founder said Friday. Bill Burton, the group's senior strategist, announced on Twitter that June was the best fundraising month yet for the Democratic group, which has been active on the airwaves in slamming GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney's tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital. In an interview on Bloomberg Television's “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which will air this weekend, Burton said the group has raised $20 million in the cycle so far and also secured $20 million in commitments for future donations.
June 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from. Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech. High-profile donors could face bullying and harassment from liberals out to "muzzle" their opponents, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)