Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Huge GOP money lead should reshape the 2012 race - CBS News

(CBS News) The Romney campaign and Republicans have outraised President Obama for three straight months, and their cash advantage could shift some of the tactics on both sides.

Romney spent the day in Texas raising money, assembling a war chest that could far outpace the president's.

CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford reports it was another big month for Romney and the Republicans who over the past three months have pulled in $284.2 million -- significantly more than the $206 million raised by President Obama and the Democrats.

Romney's not burning through money like the president's team, which spent $109.7 million last month, $34.7 million more than they raised.

That means Romney and the Republicans will have more to spend in the fall. They now have $186 million in cash on hand, compared to $124 million for the president's team.

Factor in the outside groups, and Republican sources predict by Labor Day they could have a two-to-one spending advantage.

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In Houston for a fundraiser, Romney used that as part of his fundraising pitch, saying to donors: "You've perhaps noticed in the paper, we're a little wiser in our spending of dollars than the other side apparently. I'm not managing their campaign for them, but we're going to spend our money wisely, we're going to spend it to win."

Romney's fundraising advantage raises tactical challenges for the President. It means Romney can stretch the map and force the president to divert sources and spend money defending states he may have considered solid.

CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports the Obama campaign says it's comfortable with their decision it made to spend more heavily over the summer in battleground states. They argue it was money well spent defining governor Romney right after he clinched the Republican nomination.

In the 12 top battleground states, the Obama campaign has spent more than $100 million since May on ads like the one attacking Romney's business record and tax plan.

The Obama campaign contends the strategy is working.

In the most recent Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times poll in Ohio, Romney's unfavorability rating of 43 percent exceeded his favorability rating of 40 percent.

Still, the president acknowledged today he is being outraised by Romney and Republican outside groups, but he tried to turn it into a virtue.

"I mean they got folks writing $10 million checks, $20 million checks," Mr. Obama said recently. "They should be contributing that to a scholarship fund to send kids to college."

Here's the peril for both sides: Come November, voters may be sick of all that advertising. That's another reason the Obama campaign argues it was wise to spend big this summer before TV viewers start to tune out.

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