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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Is Obama’s Campaign Spending Too Much, Too Quickly?



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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning:

The Obama campaign has been spending heavily on payroll, television ads and polling for months, hoping to tarnish Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the eyes of voters at an early stage of the general-election showdown. But some Democrats worry that the overhead built by the Obama camp over the past 15 months will prove impossible to sustain. Unless fundraising picks up, the Obama campaign may enter the season’s final stretch confronting hard choices: paring salaries, scaling back advertising or pulling out of swing states in a bid to control costs, these Democrats say.

Farther down in the article, the Journal reports:

The Obama campaign says it has four paid field staff based in South Carolina and that they also perform campaign work in North Carolina, which is expected to be hotly contested. Joe Trippi, who managed Democrat Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004, expects the Obama campaign to retrench in coming months. ‘I don’t think any campaign can stay up in as many places as they are.’

Last month I took a look at Obama’s campaign spending.

In the FEC data, updated through June 30, you can see how much each presidential campaign spends in each state. (These sums include everything from payroll to rent to catering to state business taxes to per diem, etc.) Some of the Obama spending in states where the presidential race is considered unlikely to be competitive:

South Carolina: $109,644.41.

Utah: $56,961.31.

Idaho: $44,121.67.

Wyoming: $39,388.16.

Nebraska: $106,928.05 (Keep in mind, Obama won one of Nebraska’s electoral votes in 2008, around Omaha.)

Montana: $44,695.76.

Alaska: $50,714.90.

And in heavily Democratic states, unlikely to be competitive:

Massachusetts: $2,967,881.20. (Keep in mind, some of Boston’s television’s markets extend into New Hampshire.)

Maryland: $935,764.89

Rhode Island: $1,847,065.53

Hawaii: $48,213.99

Still, in the campaign’s final weeks, if the Obama campaign finds themselves needing to triage swing states, they may wonder . . . did we need to spend as early as we did, in as many states as we did?


Tags: Barack Obama


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