It’s Money That Matters

So says Matthew Yglesias, who worries that Kerry is going to be vastly outspent.

Even if Kerry meets his target of $10 million in 10 days and keeps up that pace every day until the convention, he’s still going to be in trouble. We still don’t really know where all the GOP soft money has gone, and believe me, there’s going to be a lot of it. Also keep in mind that they’ll be out-fundraising the Democrats in every contested Senate, House, and Governor’s election; the RNC will have more money than the DNC; the state Republican Parties will have more money than the state Democratic Parties.

Actually, the Democrats have had a huge advantage in soft money in recent years. The GOP does a much better job of getting small donations, contrary to the conventional wisdom. Indeed, when McCain-Feingold passed, most observers thought it would really hurt the Democrats for precisely that reason–because it would exacerbate the Republican advantage in hard money. See this post from last June, for example. As it turns out, though, MoveOn.org and others have served as a huge loophole in the law.

Anyone who thinks the GOP strategy of launching factually bogus attacks that Kerry can’t afford to respond to won’t work is living in a dream world. Do you think the press is going to straighten the record out?

Actually, yes. Indeed, Kerry has been getting months of positive–and free–coverage while Bush is getting hammered. Now that the race has narrowed to two candidates, that’ll certainly change. The amount of coverage of Kerry’s talking point that Bush was exploiting the deaths of 9/11 victims in his first commercial, for example, was enormous. I don’t see why that would change.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Moe Lane says:

    “As it turns out, though, MoveOn.org and others have served as a huge loophole in the law.”

    Ah, but as TNR points out, the 527s are going to have trouble coordinating with Kerry for short-range stuff. Bush can use that to get inside their decision loop… in fact, he’s already started.

    And still they curse not McCain. He ripped out their spleen, and yet they do him honor. It’s shocking, really.

  2. The GOP may have a financial advantage, but I’d be interested in a theoretical calculation of the dollar worth of media that invariably “cover from the left.”

    Which is what you were getting at, of course: the Republicans have more dough, but the Democrats have most of the press/TV behind them.