Posted by | September 21, 2012 20:06 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Throughout the summer Super PACs, especially Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, spent extensively on ads for Governor Romney, filling in where the Romney campaign couldn’t.  Now, in his hour of greatest need, with his budget constrained, you would expect Romney to be leaning even more heavily on Rove and his billionaire friends.  But:

Instead, what we are hearing about are big ad buys being made down-ticket, in places like Indiana, where Crossroads just bought more than $500,00 in ad time on behalf of Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed usurper of Richard Lugar, who is now facing a tough race against Rep. Joe Donnelly for a seat that Republicans assumed was safe. Now, in some states it will be hard to discern a major upsurge in outside spending on Senate races because the outside groups have been shoveling in so much for months – as in Ohio, Montana and Virginia. (Missouri was a major target before Todd Akin started musing aloud about legitimate rape.) More noticeable will be if Crossroads et al start going in big on House races – which seems all the more likely now that some prognosticators are talking more openly about the chances for a Democratic takeover of the people’s chamber.

I actually hope the money still flows toward Romney.  The races for Congress are now closer than the one for President.  Unfortunately, Rove seems to realize that as well.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.