Massive Surge of Republican Money in Last Ditch Effort to Sink Obama
By Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, Jie Chen
Since October 17, the big GOP Superpacs appear to be outspending Priorities USA on media by at least three to one.
By eerie coincidence, the final seven days of the 2012 race to the White House began on Halloween. Even beyond the Frankenstorm, there’s something chilling that haunts these final days: the Ghost of the 2000 Election.
What’s scary is not just that the margin of victory once again figures to be razor thin. Or that the outcome of the popular vote may differ from the tally in the Electoral College, as it did in 2000. Nor is it even that all the machinations to disenfranchise voters by requiring them to produce picture ids and clamp down on early voting are likely to set off a wave of voter challenges, leading to litigation that could once again see the Supreme Court settle the outcome strictly on partisan lines and forever cloud the legitimacy of the process.
No, for 2012, the scariest thing about 2000 is the evidence that a flood of highly concentrated Republican money in the very last week of that campaign gave G.W. Bush a decisive edge in the battleground states – and that contrary to reports in the national media, there are signs that history may be about to repeat itself.
The little known 2000 story is meticulously laid out in a study by Richard Johnston, Michael G. Hagen, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, The 2000 Presidential Election and the Foundations of Party Politics. Trailing in the final weeks of the campaign, Al Gore began aggressively attacking Bush on Social Security. Helped along by news trends in the (free) mass media that the three scholars carefully track, and matching or even sometimes exceeding the Bush campaign’s ad buys, Gore rallied. He started climbing in the polls.
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