Election 2012: Details of post-Super Tuesday campaign cash to be released
U.S. President Barack Obama (l) and GOP contender Mitt Romney. PHOTO/File
For the first time since the Super Tuesday primaries, voters are getting a look at just how much money presidential candidates and their supporters have been raking in. And whether big-dollar donors are heeding President Barack Obama’s belated call for supporting an independent political action committee.
Financial reports due Friday to the Federal Election Commission will also show how much red ink the campaigns are bleeding, or, in the case of the Republican super PAC American Crossroads, how much money some groups have been stuffing in their war chests.
Indeed, much has changed since the March 6 Super Tuesday contests, when Republican voters in six out of 10 states chose Mitt Romney as their preferred nominee to compete against Obama. Rick Santorum has since folded his campaign, and Newt Gingrich has been working with a shoestring budget.
Obama’s campaign already said it raised US$53 million between it and the Democratic Party last month. But Friday’s reports will detail just where his donors’ money came from, and if he’s added to an already-sizeable army of 500 paid staffers that, as of March 1, was roughly five times the size of Romney’s operation.
But Obama’s fundraising advantage puts him at a less-than-solid position when compared with the tens of millions of dollars American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, have amassed so far.
During the last six months of 2011 alone, GPS brought in US$28 million from only a few dozen major donors, recent tax filings show. Crossroads has said it plans to raise more than US$300 million to beat Obama.
Countering Crossroads’ millions in ad spending is Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by former Obama advisers. From early 2011 through the end of February, however, the group and its nonprofit arm raised about US$10 million. Priorities USA Action, like other super PACs supporting GOP candidates, has counted on major financial support from a handful of wealthy donors.
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