Ben Buchwalter


Obama’s In the Moolah
October 25, 2008, 9:28 pm
Filed under: 2008 Election, Economy | Tags: , ,


On its blog “Connecting the Dots” David Martin of Nielson Online, probably the greatest company in the history of the world, posted that Obama’s internet advertising has had a much stronger impact than McCain’s. He writes, “Since July, Obama has placed 2.1 billion display impressions online, spread out over more than 200 unique ad creatives and 400 web properties. What’s even more stunning is that he’s out-gunned McCain with 23 times the impressions over that time period.”

Martin also points out that this advertising surge began when the stock market started to fail and voters flocked to Obama in large numbers. This indicates that, even though the issues have been favoring Obama in the past month, his campaign has used the media skillfully to maximize the impact of Obama’s surge.

This comes back to the fact that Obama has so much more money than McCain. The O-Campaign has raised almost twice as much as McCain’s ($600 Million to McCain’s $360 Million) and they are showing it. Obama is able to make more of an impression on the internet because he can throw money wherever he wants to (even video games). Next week Obama will air a half hour long program on multiple news networks to get his message out. McCain simply would not be able to afford that.

The thing that really angers me is how Republicans are suddenly shocked by a candidate’s overwhelming use of campaign funds. According to an article on NPR’s website, “McCain, speaking to Fox News, warns that Obama’s accumulation of such massive amounts of money can lead to fundraising abuses. Obama is ‘completely breaking whatever idea we had after Watergate to keep the costs and spending on campaigns under control,’ McCain says.”

This from the party that has constantly said, in opposition to campaign finance reform, that campaign funding is equal to speech and therefore cannot be constrained. This is typical Republican hypocrisy. Government should reduce spending while fighting two seemingly endless wars. We need to reduce the size government but dictate who you are allowed to fall in love with. Campaign funding is equivalent to speech until the Democrats have the louder financial voices.

I should note that McCain has historically been a proponent of campaign finance reform. Also, the Republicans are not the only ones crying wolf about campaign finance. The Associated Press reported today that the Obama campaign has accused the McCain campaign of violating campaign finance regulations. To me, the evidence for this accusation seems as thin as the Republican’s assertion that Obama’s successful fund raising campaign is suspicious.

In short, the campaigns are both anxious to point out inconsistencies of the opposing campaign’s finance decisions because the impact of the funds accumulated are so powerful. It seems clear that Obama’s surge in the polls has been the result of the dwindling economy and a constant string of missteps from the McCain campaign. But his extensive and unprecedented media advertising campaign is dwarfing McCain’s. And this fund raising advantage makes it impossible for McCain, falling further behind in the polls, to make his case to undecided voters.

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