martes, 24 de julio de 2012

¿Está Obama gastando demasiado?



The Wall Street Journal se hace eco de la preocupación de algunos demócratas por la espiral de gasto de Team Obama:
The Obama campaign has been spending heavily on payroll, television ads and polling for months, hoping to tarnish Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the eyes of voters at an early stage of the general-election showdown.
But some Democrats worry that the overhead built by the Obama camp over the past 15 months will prove impossible to sustain. Unless fundraising picks up, the Obama campaign may enter the season's final stretch confronting hard choices: paring salaries, scaling back advertising or pulling out of swing states in a bid to control costs, these Democrats say.
The president spent twice as much as Mr. Romney in June, as his campaign purchased more TV ads, paid more than twice as many employees and spent millions of dollars on public-opinion polls, federal records show.
June was the second month in a row that Mr. Obama's campaign dipped into the red, while the president was outraised by the Romney campaign. In May and June combined, the Obama campaign spent 20% more than it took in, records show.
Mr. Romney and his party have now socked away more money than Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Romney banked $170 million as of June 30, compared with $147 million for the president.
(...) "The burn rate—the investment in infrastructure and polling—is great if you've got the resources to follow through," said Douglas Schoen, who was a pollster for former President Bill Clinton. "It's unclear to me whether the president has the resources."
(...) "Since we knew from the outset that Republican super PACs would likely outspend us on the air, we made a decision to invest early in building the largest grassroots campaign in history so that our supporters could engage in 500 days of persuasion with their networks," said Ben LaBolt, the Obama campaign press secretary.
(...) Henry Barbour, a Romney fundraiser and Republican National Committee member from Mississippi, said: "Given my druthers, I'd rather outspend someone in September and October than June and July. I think they [the Romney campaign] are putting themselves in a strong position to outspend Obama in the fall."
Some 778 Obama campaign staffers received a payroll check in June, accounting for $2.9 million in wages before tax costs, records show. To date, Mr. Obama's camp has spent more than $25 million on payroll.
It spent $38.2 million on media buys last month, bringing its total this election to more than $72 million. The campaign spent $2.6 million on polling in June. The campaign has invested some $4 million in polling this election, with the DNC chipping in $11.3 million on opinion surveys since the start of 2011.
Mr. Romney spent just $10.4 million on ad buys in June, and $1.3 million on payroll for 272 employees. Since launching his campaign, Mr. Romney has spent $1.6 million on polling and $33 million on ad buys.
A former Obama White House aide said the campaign's spending runs "the risk of less money at the end and not having the money to do the level of advertising" given that the campaign has "an enormous paid nut every month."
(...) Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said the campaign has had as many as eight or nine people working in his state, even though South Carolina is considered a strong bet for Mr. Romney. The Obama campaign says it has four paid field staff based in South Carolina and that they also perform campaign work in North Carolina, which is expected to be hotly contested.
Joe Trippi, who managed Democrat Howard Dean's campaign in 2004, expects the Obama campaign to retrench in coming months. "I don't think any campaign can stay up in as many places as they are," he said.
Chicago se justifica en The Fix:

“We made a big bet in this campaign,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told the Fix in an interview this afternoon. “Ground organization matters and building one takes a lot of money. It’s an expensive proposition.”
Messina added that the campaign is spending less at this point than George W. Bush spent at the same time in the 2004 campaign despite building a ground game and “currently fending off six or seven Republican super PACs.”
(...)  Messina’s self-described “big bet” is that in an election expected to be extremely close — and which almost no one is undecided — that being able to identify and turn out Obama supporters hold the key to winning.
That calculation is similar to how the Bush campaign viewed the 2004 electorate — breaking with the past strategy of targeting independents to instead identify and make sure their own base turned out first and foremost.
Messina and the rest of the Obama team are trying to replicate that Bush approach while simultaneously trying to convince independent/undecided voters that Romney isn’t the candidate for them with a slew of negative TV ads.
That’s an expensive proposition. We’ll know in 106 days whether Messina made the right bet or whether he (and his candidate) went bust.