Mitt Romney ran a tight ship in his primary bid for the Republican nomination, saving money wherever possible in anticipation of President Barack Obama out-raising him in the general election campaign.
But as he heads into the final few months of the race, the presumptive Republican nominee has far more cash at his disposal than the president, according to a report Tuesday in the Boston Globe
The newspaper said the cash lead over the Obama campaign presents the former Massachusetts governor "with a series of strategic and tactical opportunities that could provide a crucial difference as he enters the final stretch of a race expected to be razor-close."
The financial advantage Romney now enjoys can be attributed not just to pinching pennies in the primary campaign, but to his own fundraising abilities and the fact that the Obama campaign spent heavily on ads early on trying to cement a certain image of Romney in the minds of the voters, the Globe said.
So far, the Obama campaign has outspent the Romney team by 3-to-1. But Stuart Stevens, a Romney senior adviser, told the Globe, "That will be over soon, and the playing field will be more level."
Romney has surprised a lot of political observers by out-raising Obama and the Democrats over the past three months. Romney and the Republican Party started August off with $186 million cash on hand, compared to $127 million for Obama and the Democrats, the Globe reported.
The Democrats have taken notice.
“If you have a financial advantage, which Romney does, it is important. It does give you more options,” Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who was a senior strategist for Al Gore’s and John Kerry’s presidential bids, told the Globe. “You’re able to do more things with your money.”
Devine suggested that Romney's campaign wealth could help him expand his efforts beyond key battleground states into areas of the country that do not traditionally vote Republican. Obama would have to spend time and money, he said, fending off the incursions.
"If they want to fully use the resource advantage, they have to expand the map beyond the 10 or 11 states that are competitive right now,” Devine said. “Now, you’re forcing the other guy to waste a lot of money.”
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