The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama Campaign: Money for Nothing

Posted on | July 22, 2012 | 39 Comments

A week ago, a Republican source pointed out that when the Obama campaign admitted its June fundraising fell short of Mitt Romney’s, they didn’t report their cash-on-hand total — an indication, the source suggested, that Team Obama’s spending was out of control. As I said, readers could “expect the Democrat freakout to intensify next Friday when we get the official FEC reports for June.”

The FEC reports show that in June, the Obama campaign raised $45.9 million, spent $58.1 million and finished the month with $97.5 cash on hand — so that their “burn rate” was nearly 27% in excess of contributions.  The Romney campaign raised $33 million, spent $27.5 million and finished June with $22.5 million cash on hand.

During a presidential campaign year, however, the national party committees are basically part of their candidate’s campaign, and when you add those funds in, Romney and the RNC actually now have more cash on hand than do Obama and the Democrats:

Heading into July, Romney and his party allies were left with nearly $170 million on hand, while Obama and the Democrats had $147 million.
That disparity — along with a record-breaking $20.6-million haul in June by the pro-Romney “super PAC” Restore Our Future — underscored the momentum enjoyed by Republicans in the money race, a source of sharp anxiety among Democrats. Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing Obama, also had its best fundraising month ever in June, but it notched just $6 million.

The Obama campaign’s June spending spree — flooding the airwaves with ads attacking Romney — might have made sense if the ads had done anything to shift the race in Obama’s favor. But if you look at the Real Clear Politics average, there is no indication that the early ad barrage accomplished anything significant, and certainly not what you’d expect to see with Obama outspending Romney 2-to-1.

On June 1, Obama led the RCP average by 2.3 points; he now leads by 1.7 points; he’s actually lost ground in the past six weeks. Nor is there any indication that Obama is blowing out Romney in the key battleground states where most of the campaign ad money has been spent. On June 1, Obama led the RCP average of Ohio polls by 3.8 points (46.8 to 43); he now leads by 4.3 points (47.3 to 43) — and the latest Rasmussen poll shows Romney within 2 points.

The takeaway point is that Obama’s poll numbers have been inflated by his early spending, but the cost-per-point has been extraordinarily high, and he can’t afford to keep it up — there will be no more months in which Obama out-spends Romney by such a wide margin as he did in  June. The overall money picture favors Romney, and everybody knows it:

“President Obama’s campaign will never have a more substantial advertising advantage than it has had over the past few weeks, yet there is no evidence to suggest that the ballot has moved,” Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said in a July 16 memo.

UPDATE: Obama’s former economic adviser Elizabeth Warren is also burning through campaign cash at a furious rate, and with no more encouraging results to show for it. The problem with socialism is, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money, and this is ultimately as true in politics as in policy.



39 Responses to “Obama Campaign: Money for Nothing”

  1. JeffS
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Given the mud raking that Obama’s campaign has indulged in thus far, one has to wonder just when (not if) they’ll go into full freakout moonbat psycho mode.

    If they haven’t already, that is.

  2. Gaius
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Linked at Blue Crab Boulevard

  3. ThePaganTemple
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    I don’t pay attention to most polls aside from Rasmussen, which focuses on likely voters as opposed to registered voters. Check this out-

  4. Answer: She's so far left even Barack Obama is running away from her » Datechguy's Blog
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    […] More on the president’s money woes here. […]

  5. JeffWeimer
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    Obama peaked too early? It isn’t even the Olympics yet. Few are really paying attention. If he can’t meet the competition, it’s one more check in the DOOM column.

    I did get a load of both campaign’s ads this weekend, and I think Romney’s are fundamentally better. Of course I’m biased, but R uses O’s own words against him, while O uses articles written about R to make his point. R is using primary sources, and O is using stuff one step removed. R is just more believable.

  6. Jmuren1
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    I certainly hope the Obama warchest has $97.50 left. 

  7. DaveO
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    All of this is speculation based on known accounts of money.

    Obama got most of his cash last time from the 1% and non-American sources. His team took the Clinton’s China-Saudi Arabia money laundering to bold depths.

    Those folks got their money back, and made nice profits from TARP and the Stimulus and through other means. They are not going to relax now.

    Better number is Obama has at least 100% of what he’s reporting in unreported, non-American accounts.

  8. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

     Are you for real?

    I guess there are equal proportion of conspiracy theorist nuts on both sides.

  9. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    Obama is fighting for his second term. Romney is a challenger. There is going to be a difference in their approach to ads. ref: Bush vs Kerry.

  10. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

     Nate Silver’s 538 model is far superior.

  11. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    Since June 1, Obama’s chances of winning increased by 7-10 points on both Intrade (from 52 to  58.5) and the 538  model (59.5 to 69). Both are on ascendency.

    Sorry to burst your bubbles.

  12. ThePaganTemple
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

     What model? All he does is just another version of RCP, averaging polls and giving equal weight to each one no matter what model they use. That’s like judging American cuisine in general by averaging the quality at a few five star restaurants with a slew of fast food joints and greasy spoons.

  13. ThePaganTemple
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

     Intrade=proof there are a bunch of stupid motherfucking losers born every minute.

  14. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    All he does is just another version of RCP, averaging polls and giving equal weight to each one no matter what model they use.

    Not true. 538 methodology is complex.

  15. Don Surber
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

     Nate Silver says this. InTrade says that. Go back to July 2010 and tell me who was predicting a big Republican sweep in November? Bloggers like McCain. RCP, 538 and InTrade were gazing at their navels wondering if Republicans would take the House while the bloggers were wondering if it would be a 50 or 60 seat gain. Oh sure, a week before the election, RCP and company came around. When you can give me the forecast Nate Silver will post on November 1, then we will talk. Otherwise, it is about as scientific as the 2007 IPCC report.

  16. K-Bob
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    Sometimes the invisible hand is merely engaged in “self abuse.”

  17. K-Bob
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Stacy, you’re becoming the Michael Barone of campaign cash  analysis.

    Pro audio tip: If they start putting you on the radio to talk about this, try not to sound like you just ran up the stairs and back down again, like Barone always does.

    (Just busting Barone’s chops a little.  Barone is great.)

  18. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

     Pollings for midterm elections and congressional elections are not robust, which isn’t case for heavily polled presidential elections.  McCain is quoting the RCP figures to support his “Obama Campaign Money For Nothing” thesis.  RCP average uses the polling data and equal weights for individual polls.  538 model uses pollster’s records, recency (more weightage for most recent polls), latest economic indcators (8 in total) and several other factors built into his forecasts. Therefore the contention.

  19. JeffS
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Heh — Obama must really be in the basement if Anamika is running around contradicting everyone. 

    If lefties can’t lie, they’ll spin.  Remember, if it’s truthy, it’s good enough.

  20. FenelonSpoke
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    I suppose it would be really tactless to say that when I first saw the headline I thought of the great Dire Straits song, “Money For Nothing”. However, something tells me Obama isn’t getting “Chicks” for free.

    I denounce myself.

  21. Adjoran
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

     A nod is as good as a wink to a blink horse.

  22. Adjoran
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Obama will outspend the Romney campaign in June and July, too.

    Our insane campaign finance laws put strict limits on contributions for the primaries and general election.  Romney spent most of his primary money, and can’t legally spend the general money until he is formally nominated.  Of course the PACs can and are spending some on his behalf.

    But it is summer vacation season.  The only people paying attention right now are political junkies like us, and TV ads don’t move the junkies.

    Any half-wit who thinks InTrade is predictive with the small volume of contracts being traded just doesn’t understand the basis of the market.  

  23. FOAF
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    “Any half-wit who thinks InTrade is predictive ”

    B-but Anamika isn’t just *any* half-wit!

  24. JeffWeimer
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

     She’s our half-wit!

  25. Dianna Deeley
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

     She’s the sort of person who is impressed with complexity for its own sake, not because it produces predictive results.

    It’s a bit like her notions of Eastern philosophy and theology. Complexity substituting for clarity of thought.

  26. Dianna Deeley
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

     That she is – our very own pet troll.

  27. DaveO
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    Yes, I’m for real. And yes, the key credit card security feature, the AVS, that was turned off by Obama’s campaign in 2008 has been turned off again. One conservative estimate was Obama raised US $200 million in the final weeks of the 2008 campaign.

    One could say that someone is looking into this. But whom? There are no Inspectors General anymore. Those that performed their duties as prescribed by law were fired. The rest were shut up or replaced by political appointees with a vest interest in the POTUS’s agenda.

    Most of Obama’s campaign money in the final push in 2008 came through the areas controlled by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. In exchange Obama has overseen a sharp rise in both anti-zionism and anti-semitism in the US and world-wide. 

    When you regard a map of the Med, you will notice it looks like a gauntlet – economic chaos and homicidal activism by Muslims on the north and south banks of the Med. Spain, France, Italy, and Greece can’t afford to do anything. We can’t afford to pay them to do anything, even were they disposed to assisting Israel.

    And the folks who paid Obama to set up this strategic nightmare aren’t going to allow Romney to disassemble it.  The fossil fuels and mineral finds in Israel are predicted to turn Saudi Arabia and China into bit players. China in particular can’t afford to have its economy undermined.

    Then there’s Obama. When challenged, he ALWAYS doubles down. And, as Romney’s cash contributors are discovering, Obama has no issues siccing law enforcement as an exercise le droit du seigneur.

    Obama, publicly, never tells the truth. He is infamous for his strawmen constructs depicting his enemies as evil, fabulously wealthy, and inimicably capable. What he never says is that he’s got a gun to the head of the GOP (well, the GOP does help by putting the barrel up against its scalp) and has unreported resources of his own. It is his character to behave in this manner.

    And for those reasons, I believe Obama has far deeper, and non-American pockets than he’s reporting. Final caveat: who does the reporting? Answer: American Media, and Obama’s Government. One’s servant do as bidden.

    No conspiracy theory. Just a belief based on the character of one man and knowledge of how he works.

  28. Bob Belvedere
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    No, but I bet he’s getting his Chickenhawks for free.

    I denounce myself, squared.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    If it’s complex, it must being more meaningful.

    Can’t tell you how many academics I’ve tried to debate over the years who believed that deep-down.

  30. James
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    Obama is doomed.

    He will never have this advantage again in the campaign. 

    He was able to outspend Romney several times over AND threw out what most would argue is the most potent shot against Romney.  All while most Americans simply weren’t paying attention and will be deemed old news in 3 months.

    If anything, according to the poll averages, Obama seemed to lose ground after the spending spree.

    When Romney, the Super Pacs and 527s open the spigots, you’re going to see the numbers turn.

    At some point, reality has to catch up with this election.  An incumbent can’t have all of these economic indicators working against him, and still win.  Romney is not fatally flawed and Obama is grossly out of step on the liberal fringe.


  31. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 8:28 pm


    She’s the sort of person who is impressed with complexity for its own sake, not because it produces predictive results.

    Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight>/a> since 2008 is the most predictive model by far with excellent track record.

    Don’t be stupid just for the sake of making a statement that makes you feel superior.

  32. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    If it’s complex, it must being more meaningful.

    Can’t tell you how many academics I’ve tried to debate over the years who believed that deep-down.

    I agree, its a fallacy to make that assumption, and that academics might be more prone to such a cognitive bias.

     But you are barking at the wrong tree, my friend.

    I had the same experience debating JeffS recently (I wrote to him yesterday):

    “You seem to ignore the simplicity of percentiles (re test scores) and choose to play an
    expert at statistics and lecture others in Gaussian distribution, while doubling down on your
    ignorance quotient, in doing so.”

    His response to my in depth post? Simple and stupid  (both are not mutually exclusive; that’s the other end of the stick for you.)

  33. Anamika
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 9:02 pm


    Pagan was clearly ignorant of  Nate Silver’s methodology. He thought it was just another pollling aggregation site like RCP or; it isn’t.

    Are you too dumb or what?

  34. JeffS
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    And we wuvs her, we does!  Really and truly, with all our hearts!


  35. JeffS
    July 22nd, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

     See, Dianna, this is why Anamika is such a precious resource. 

    For all her learning, she has no knowledge.  For all of her thinking, she she has no logic.  For all her moral posturing, she has no standards. 

    She’s a shining example of liberal education at it’s zenith, which is very low indeed. 

    As such, she must be cherished and preserved, so that future generations can see the futility and the waste of liberal education doctrine.  Perhaps this will save others from going into the darkness.

    So….maybe we can all chip in, and have Anamika bronzed?

  36. Adjoran
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 12:27 am

    The only President who won reelection in the modern era without consistently polling at or over 50% in the election year was Bush in 2004, but he had the prevailing wind of economic growth behind him.   Carter had in fact been there for most of 1980, but it turned out at least some of his support was simply doubtful of Reagan, and deserted him at the end after Reagan showed he was no warmongering slave trader in the debate.

    Obama is swimming against a whirlpool of bad economic news which seems unrelenting and unlikely to reverse itself this year.  While he is not the cause of the problems, for the most part, his policies at every single turn have worked to ensure the USA could not have A Separate Economic Recovery through punitive legislation and regulation. 

    His wasted money didn’t directly make matters worse, it and his other policies make it impossible for matters to get better.  You can’t change the cards you are dealt, but it is always up to you how you play them.  Obama chose to draw to an inside straight that his cronyism and wanton spending would help his friends while the economy rebounded on its own.  

    Those are hard to hit.

  37. JeffS
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 1:39 am

     Busted flushes are difficult to bluff with. 

  38. Adjoran
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 6:51 am

     So, he’s been the most accurate ONCE IN A ROW?  Wow, very impressive.

  39. Selling Tap Water P.T. Barnam would be proud » Datechguy's Blog
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    […] A final thought, if this business shows even the least sign of success in the next 30 days the Obama campaign fundraising team need to hire these guys. If they can sell New York Tap water for people they might be able to reverse their fundraising woes. […]