The huge money advantage Obama enjoyed over McCain in 2008 won’t be replicated against Romney in 2012.
Romney out-raised Obama $106 million to $71 million in June and indications are that, unlike McCain in 2008, Romney and the RNC will likely keep pace with the fundraising totals of Obama and the DNC.
Figures from 2008 show that the Obama camp is right to be concerned. As noted by Karl Rove, from June to November 2008 Obama outspent McCain on network TV buys by a 3–2 margin. In fact, Obama’s budget for Florida alone was $39 million compared to McCain’s $13.1 million, yet Obama – the inspiring, possibly first black president, blank slate, transcendent agent of Hope and Change — beat McCain by just 2.8 percent in the state.
In addition, data from TNS Media Intelligence show that Obama’s advantage over McCain expanded significantly as the election drew closer. Not only did Obama outspend McCain by 2.5 to 1 in TV buys in the last two months of the campaign, but in the week leading up to the election Obama outspent the Republican 5 to 1, including 46 original TV ads versus just 9 for McCain.
The spending disparity between Obama and McCain was even more pronounced in critical swing states. Obama and the DNC outspent McCain and the RNC by a factor of:
7 to 1 in Indiana
4 to 1 in Virginia
3 to 1 in Ohio
3 to 2 in North Carolina
2 to 1 in Pennsylvania
5 to 1 in Wisconsin
Obama’s vanishing money advantage is compounded by the fact that he now has a record to defend. As The Hill reported yesterday, 56 percent of Americans think Obama’s policies have made things worse — this, even with a supportive mainstream media in his corner.
No president since LBJ has won reelection with a Gallup approval rating below 49 percent in June of the election year. Obama’s currently at 45 percent (his present RCP average is 47). Without a 3 to 1 money advantage over Romney, Obama will have to be judicious in deploying his cash to defend his 8.2 percent unemployment rate, Obamacare, tax increases, $5 trillion in added debt, HHS mandate, foreign-policy failures, etc. — something he didn’t have to worry about in 2008.
Now it’s up to Romney to make him worry.