With Romney on the Ropes, GOP Super PACs Keep Firing Away

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CHARLES DHARAPAK / AP

Lunch is served as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign fundraising event, the first of which reporters' cameras were allowed in, at The Grand America in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 18, 2012.

As Mitt Romney‘s campaign tries to regain control of its message and allay growing conservative doubts about whether he can beat Barack Obama, Republican super PACs are watching carefully and gauging how they can best steer their resources in the campaign’s home stretch. For now, however, they’re far from bailing on the GOP nominee.

American Crossroads, the grand daddy of conservative super PACs co-founded and advised by Karl Rove, raised some eyebrows yesterday by announcing its first ad in a House campaign. Crossroads is targeting Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop of Long Island, NY. A sign that Crossroads is turning its artillery away from Obama and towards the battle for Congress, perhaps? 

Not so, Crossroads CEO Steven Law tells TIME. “We placed a buy in one Congressional district. At the same time, we placed a $6.2 million buy this morning” in presidential battleground states. (Law says that Crossroads added another $1.7 million to the buy today to match Obama campaign ad buys in Florida and Ohio).

Law concedes that Romney has hit “a rough patch over the last few weeks,” but insists Crossroads is not dialing back its support for him. “In all the states that Romney needs to win, or could win, he is either inside the margin of error or close to it,” Law says. “Obama has not closed the sale with independents. He’s made progress, but he has not closed the sale.” A different Republican source said Tuesday that Republicans would spend $21.3 million to Democrats’ $17.6 million on the presidential race through next Monday.

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Sept. 7-14)

Other Republicans who work with super PACs, however, do report emerging doubts among major GOP donors and the groups they fund. As the gridlock of the past two years demonstrates, domestic policy in the next presidential term will be determined nearly as much by the partisan makeup of Congress as by the president himself. “How do you hedge your bets?” is the question on the table, says a Republican operative familiar with these conversations. Republican strategists have virtually given up hope of winning the Senate. (Congratulations, Todd Akin!) Thus, “you’ve got to hold and expand the House to stop Obama,” says the operative.

Ad time in competitive presidential states is already limited, but slots are plentiful–and still relatively cheap–in the dozens of states where the Romney and Obama campaigns aren’t doing battle. Republicans are also taking a second look at down-ballot candidates who may be suffering from a lack of pro-GOP advertising in places that the Romney campaign has written off. “There is a developing concern about ‘orphan seats’ in states where Obama is way ahead,” says another Republican who works with super PACs.

Meanwhile, one Republican super PAC is working to expand the presidential campaign battlefield onto ostensibly Democratic turf. The pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future announced a $2.2 million ad buy Wednesday in the Obama-leaning states of Michigan and Wisconsin; the former is Romney’s birth state, and recent polling suggests a tightening race there. Wisconsin is the home of Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, and a recent New York Times/CBS poll found Obama with just a six-point lead in a state Republicans have not carried since 1984. The Obama campaign apparently takes the Wisconsin threat seriously enough to send the president there for a campaign event this weekend. Some commentators may be ready to write Romney’s political obituary. But the Republican super PACs don’t see it that way–at least not yet.

21 comments
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akpat
akpat

It makes me wonder why anyone would vote for Romney. After all he cant make up his mind, he can offend our best allies, he has no foreign policy worthwhile other than invade, his tax policies are why we are where we are economically, he is anti womens rights, ant gay rights and now anti the 47% rights along with Ryan anti old folks rights and the only people who will gain are the super rich and yet there are still people in the 47% who support him.

sacredh
sacredh

Law concedes that Romney has hit “a rough patch over the last few weeks,”

.

Romney has hit a rough patch? The damned car is flipping end over end and heading for a cliff.

anon76returns
anon76returns

To be fair to them, the patch of ground under the cliff is pretty rough.

Pnnto
Pnnto

From the minute Willard made his Veep choice it was clear that the people who know wrote off the chance of a republican White House and were focused on down ticket races.

We've discussed it in comments for weeks now. 

Nwvotes
Nwvotes

Mitt Romney has had a lot negative media feedback from recent comments. Do you think he is falling quickly out of the 2012 race or is this a small speed bump? Vote at Nationwidevotes.com 

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

My man Charles, a Marquette grad after all, felt the need to post some news from the home folks. Links in the original article.

There is, this afternoon, a poll from here at home base. There are still a bunch of debates. The Middle East is still exploding. (Violence flarin' / bullets loadin' / you're old enough to kill / but not for votin'...) There's many a slip between the chickens before they're hatched and all that.

Still, you look at the voters polled in Wisconsin this week and, as my late fellow Marquette alum once said, holy schnikes.

This is the first election cycle in which the Marquette pollsters have made a national name for themselves and, at least during the recalls over the summer, their numbers were pretty good. So, let's go inside the numbers, as Mel Allen used to say....

• Obama's got a 55-percent favorability rating to Romney's 36. (And Joe Biden is up four in this category here over the hometown zombie-eyed granny-starver.)

• Tammy Baldwin's up 8 percent over Tommy Thompson for the Senate seat among registered voters — and by 9 percent among likely voters, and is now edging toward 50 percent.

• The Affordable Care Act is up 49-41 in its favorability. (Which is probably why Governor Scott Walker is scuttling around trying to jimmy the lock on the pantry door. Apologies for the paywall.)

• The president's position on the extension of the Bush tax cuts — that they should continue for those under $250,000 a year — is favored by a 47-30 margin.

Like I said, the best-laid plans of mice and men often slip between the cup and the lip, and these numbers may well set off the Ride of the Valkyries among the various corporate sugar daddies. But still, they're worth at least one chorus of the old tune.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p...

Pnnto
Pnnto

"these numbers may well set off the Ride of the Valkyries among the various corporate sugar daddies"

Already has. In the other direction.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Great link, matey! An' 'ere's to our fav'rite gal Pirate Wench on th' day named fer her!

Arrg!

Pnnto
Pnnto

I was wondering this morning if it was spawned by her.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

There's no doubt a Romney administration would

favor the rich and increase the income gap in our country? Mitt is a pariah in

Mormon Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the

rich in this country by expanding tax cuts for the 1% of the wealthiest

Americans. He’s out to gut the Middle Class for every red cent he can get. Will

his sacred Mormon underwear grant him the protection and money to buy this

election? See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities sent down from the Good

Lord Himself at

http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

jmac
jmac

"You've got to hold and expand the House to stop Obama."   Stop him from what -  trying to jump start the economy?    Do they want to make sure our credit rating drops again so they can win another mid-term?  A Koch-backed protest group is out today  fighting Occupy Wall Street.   God forbid that we should attack the problem that led to the economy tanking.   Ryan's economic plan wasn't even acceptable to conservative economists and he's tooted as their mental giant on the economy.  The Republican House has done enough damage.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"For now, however, they’re far from bailing on the GOP nominee."

As if. The psychopathic plutocrats behind those Super PACs aren't going to bail on Romney, unless and until he faces a certain loss. They know where their bread is buttered.

gysgt213
gysgt213

There must be some type of software conflict:  Now Romney camp:  video is "debunked and selectively edited.  Romney himself: I stand by remarks in that video.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

This is in any way remotely surprising?  They really are taking the spaghetti method to this campaign: throw everything at the ceiling and see what sticks

gysgt213
gysgt213

I have honestly never seen anything like this in my life. 

pollardty
pollardty

I agree 100%. I've been a political junky since I spent much of my 14th Summer watching the Watergate hearings. The craziest thing is that there is still any support left for Romney.

sacredh
sacredh

gysgt213, politics is my fantasy football. It's like I get to pick players AFTER the games have been played.

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

The bean counters behind Romney are smelling smoke and can't decide whether to throw the bomb outside or try to pass it to an underling. Romney just thinks they're all playing flag football.

outsider2011
outsider2011

Time will tell; i've been reading a lot about how the GOP, the establishment anyway, has given up on the WH and is now worried about how much damage Romney can cause down ticket. 

charlieromeobravo
charlieromeobravo

If GOP Super PAC cash saves Romney's bacon, I guess we'll have our answer about what sort of impact Citizens United can have on an election...

Austinite
Austinite

That implies that it hasn't saved his bacon already, in either the Primaries, or in equalizing what used to be Obama's direct fundraising advantage.