Saturday, January 21, 2012

Money can't always buy you love ...

... as Mitt Romney is learning to his sorrow. Often, though, it is good for tearing down your opponents, as Newt Gingrich learned to his sorrow in Iowa, where his temporary lead in the polls was demolished by a wave of attack ads run by pro-Romney SuperPACs. But sometimes even that doesn't work reliably, at least for Mitt. Consider, for example, today's Republican primary in South Carolina, which Romney could well lose despite heavily outspending any of his opponents. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that, deep down, they just don't like him.

Rachel Weiner
sums it up (below) at the Washington Post politics blog.

—Jeff Weintraub

Posted by Rachel Weiner at 12:11 PM ET, 01/20/2012

If former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney loses South Carolina Saturday night, it will be a very expensive loss.

From Jan. 16 through the Saturday primary, he and his super PAC supporters have spent more than any two of his rivals combined, according to a Republican media buyer.

[JW: Not exactly. According to the figures below, the pro-Gingrich and pro-Paul spending adds up to just slightly more than the pro-Romney spending. But the basic point holds. And whereas Gingrich concentrated most of his fire on Romney, the Ron Paul ads trashed Gingrich as well as Romney and Santorum.]

In Iowa, a deluge of ads from the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future buried former House speaker Newt Gingrich. In the Palmetto State, Gingrich is fighting back, thanks to a huge boost from his own super PAC supporters.

Romney also has more rivals to contend with in the south. In Iowa he was focused almost exclusively on Gingrich; now former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has emerged as a serious rival and another big ad spender.


* Mitt Romney $858,155 + Restore Our Future $1,238,482 + Citizens for a Working America $202,642 = $2,299,279

* Newt Gingrich $337,763 + Winning Our Future $856,220 = $1,193,983

* Rick Santorum $667,810 + Red White and Blue Fund $406,447 = $1,074,257

* Ron Paul $984,538 + Santa Rita PAC $150,992 = $1,135,530

* Rick Perry $102,450 + Make Us Great Again $97,851 = $200,301

Total: $5,903,350