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Why Obama’s campaign is more efficient than Romney’s

By on September 30, 2012

Bruce Bartlett adds his two cents on why Romney’s superior fundraising hasn’t paid off:

[A] dirty secret about independent PAC spending is that it is often guided more by what makes money for the managers than what’s best for parties and candidates. They typically direct TV advertising toward agencies they themselves own and where they get a 15 percent commission; direct mail campaigns are conducted by companies they own as well on which similar commissions are paid; polls are conducted by polling firms they own or are affiliated with; and of course the managers of PACs are paid well in the form of salaries and bonuses. Those who fund super PACs are often political neophytes who have no idea that they are being ripped off and taken advantage of.

Bartlett thinks this reflects Romney’s private equity background, in which he focused on raising capital, rather than operational strategy of the companies he acquired. Meanwhile, Sean Sullivan breaks down the two campaigns’ fund allocation:

Interestingly, Romney and his allies have dedicated about $29 million more to mail than Obama’s side, dishing out nearly $100 million. Direct mail is a much more targeted medium that leaves room for tailoring messages to specific parts of the electorate…. One more notable observation: Obama’s side is outspending Romney and his allies more than 2-1 on polling.

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