The ability of “charitable” groups to accept anonymous donations and put them to “social” goals has opened up political advertising possibilities any time and anywhere. The perpetual campaign is becoming a reality.
An analysis in Politico kicked off by taking a look at just one group associated with former George W. Bush political advisor Karl Rove. Politico wrote, “Just one month after the 2010 midterms, the conservative Crossroads GPS launched $400,000 in radio ads pushing Democrats to extend the Bush tax cuts. The group spent another $450,000 last month in key House districts, plus $750,000 more in recent ads about the Wisconsin labor fight.”
In years past, groups such as this would more typically spend their time just after an election replenishing their coffers to load up for the next one. Now, they are pulling in enough money to maintain an air presence pretty much all of the time.
And when Crossroads GPS spends, it means that the groups being attacked also pony up cash to get on the air and defend themselves, not to mention kick off ad campaigns of their own that take the offensive.
Even the official electoral committee of Democrats in the US House of Representatives, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has already spent cash essentially aimed at influencing the 2012 elections.
This is unusual since typically in the past, DCCC and its counterparts have been one of the political action committees most likely to hold onto resources until the last months and weeks of a campaign, using funds strategically to take advantage of offensive opportunities or to bolster a sagging candidate in need of defensive help.
Politico noted, “The upshot: An unrelenting political cycle that isn’t likely to fade from the scene anytime soon.”
RBR-TVBR observation: There have always been issue ads, often tied to specific current events such as the battle between the governor and public labor unions in Wisconsin. But another thing we’re seeing is spending in specific congressional districts that kicked off just as the new Congress was just getting seated. Still, we are certain that the big spending will be tied to the couple of months leading up to an actual vote.