Monday, May 14, 2012

New campaign finance reporting -- now with less context!

Over at Mother Jones, Andy Kroll reports that Priorities USA Action, an Obama-aligned super PAC, is underperforming relative to its Republican counterparts:
As the leading Obama-affiliated super-PAC, it was supposed to provide a counterbalance to big Republican outside-spending groups. But the super-PAC has so far raked in just $9 million for the 2012 election cycle. By comparison, the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future has raised $52 million, and the pro-Gingrich super-PAC Winning Our Future pulled in $24 million before Gingrich dropped out of the race. Priorities isn't just struggling to compete with its Republican counterparts—it's not playing in the same league.
Kroll then provides four reasons why the Obama super PAC isn't raising much money. Strangely, none of those reasons is that Obama didn't face any primary challengers. Romney needed money to defeat his party rivals. Obama didn't.

From what I've heard from some campaign staffers, the Obama folks expect Romney's super PACs to raise more money than the Obama super PACs, although they think the Obama campaign itself will out-raise the Romney campaign. This may all be true, and we'll know better this summer and fall, when we see fundraising patterns for the general election. But comparing them at a time when one candidate had opponents and the other didn't is just silly.

(h/t John Sides)

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