The Romney and Obama campaigns followed opposite strategies this year. Obama, knowing that he couldn’t defend his record, launched a massive pre-emptive strike against Romney over the summer. The Obama campaign spent more money smearing Romney than has ever been devoted to negative advertising in the history of politics. The plan was to destroy Romney by demonizing him before he had an opportunity to introduce himself to voters. The Romney campaign followed a very different approach. Convinced that historically, money spent during the summer is largely wasted, Romney decided to hoard most of his cash until October, which is when most undecided voters make up their minds. While Obama has raised and spent more money than Romney over the course of the campaign, it is Romney who is dominating the airwaves in the final weeks.
The Romney campaign writes here about its effort to expand the playing field, specifically with reference to Pennsylvania:
Not only has Minnesota has been moved to “Lean Dem” and the Obama Campaign is up in that state with a significant television buy, but the Chicago gurus have heeded Governor Rendell’s plea and are buying television in Pennsylvania and sending the Vice-President in to help prop up their flagging campaign.
With one week to go, and 96% of the vote on the table on Election Day in Pennsylvania, this expansion of the electoral map demonstrates that Governor Romney’s momentum has jumped containment from the usual target states and has spread to deeper blue states that Chicago never anticipated defending. …
As a campaign, we will put more resources into the target states in the final week, than previous GOP campaigns have been able to do in the final 10 weeks. The Romney campaign has the resources to expand the map in ways that weren’t possible in past cycles (without reducing any effort in any other target state).
Romney is running this ad in Pennsylvania, taking off on Obama’s pledge to destroy the coal industry:
Not only has Romney saved much of his money for a final blitz, outside groups are blasting away at Obama and the Democrats, too. Being outspent is a new experience for the Democrats, and the Obama campaign is squealing. I got this email from the DCCC a little while ago:
From: Democrats 2012 [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:31 PM
To: Hinderaker, John H.
BREAKING: Republican groups launch almost $50 million ad blitz in final week
John, we’re getting outspent. Badly.
A new poll shows the Presidential race is deadlocked — 47% to 47% — but there’s no way that we’ll be able to win a Democratic majority if we continue to get outspent like this.
We have 24 hours left to close the spending gap before our ad buy deadline.
24 HOUR WARNING: Can you chip in $3 or more to fight Republican attacks and win a Democratic majority for President Obama?
CNN is reporting that Karl Rove and Mitt Romney’s outside groups are planning to spend nearly $50 million trashing President Obama’s record in the final week of this campaign. We only have 7 days left to fight their lies and get the facts out to voters.
Please donate $3 or whatever you can today — when your donation will make the biggest difference:
I think the Democrats’ summer onslaught did hurt Romney, but right now his strategy is looking pretty good. My biggest concern about the presidential race, at the moment, is the development that no one could have predicted: Hurricane Sandy. The storm may take attention away from Romney’s campaign and Obama’s economy at precisely the wrong moment, thereby giving Obama renewed hope.