Obama's Big Campaign Spending Creating Worries Among Democrats

Sunday, 05 Aug 2012 10:01 AM

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President Obama is burning through more campaign cash than any incumbent in recent times in what political observers say is an unprecedented effort to seize momentum with major investments in a ground game based on personnel, field offices and high-tech infrastructure.

But that cash advantage is evaporating, and Obama could be in dire straits in the home stretch after Labor Day.  Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have about $25 million more cash on hand than the Democrats as of the beginning of July.

Since January, Democrats have spent almost $50 million subsidizing Democratic state parties to hire workers, pay for cellphones and update voter lists, The New York Times reports. Tens of millions have been put into polling, online advertising and software development to turn Mr. Obama’s fallow volunteers corps into a grass-roots army.

In total, the price tag comes to some $400 million from the beginning of last year to June 30 this year. That includes $86 million spent on advertising.

Obama spent about $70.8 million in June alone, more than half on advertising and far more than he raised. His advisers have had to schedule more fund-raising trips than originally planned to big-money states like New York, according to donors involved in the effort. The super PAC supporting his campaign, Priorities USA Action, is enlisting former President Bill Clinton as a rainmaker, hoping to counter its conservative counterparts.

“There is a lot of worry that Romney’s folks are raising so much more,” one of Obama’s top fund-raisers told the Times. “I just don’t think there’s a lot of high-dollar money left on the table.”

Republicans insist that Mr. Obama will rue his spending.

“Heading into the final laps of the campaign, the Democrats will regret squandering so much of their haul early in the cycle on massive monthly overhead,” said Sean M. Spicer, a spokesman for the R.N.C.

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