The Republicans’ Financial Catastrophe, AFSCME Edition

AFSCME is getting in to the fun with a TV ad skewering Mitt Romney on his record at Bain Capital. And they’re serious about it: they’re buying a million dollars worth of airtime in Florida.

Florida is, of course, a big state with several expensive media markets. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Republican plutocrat Rick Scott dropped $73 million on TV advertising. His Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, spent about $28 million on TV over a ten week period. So, $1 million is a pretty good amount to spend in a week, but it’s still almost three times less than Sink’s weekly TV buy in her losing campaign.

But let’s compare the $1 million AFSCME is spending on TV ads. Through January 15th, that’s about equal to what the campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had spent on TV ads for the entire campaign. It’s four times what Ron Paul spent last week, and almost half the amount he’s spent on TV the entire campaign. Its’s only $400,000 less than what Mitt Romney’s campaign spent last week, and almost a quarter the amount they’ve spent the entire campaign. And the $1 million AFSCME is spending next week is equal to ten percent of all the spending on TV ads done by all the Republican presidential candidates combined.

There’s a big mis-conception among many people that the campaigns’ spending doesn’t matter, because all the money is being spent by the SuperPAC’s. That may prove true for the Republicans in the general election. But the amounts spent by SuperPAC’s during the Republican primary have been modest. Through last week, Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC, had spent only $3.5 million. Through last week, total spending by SuperPAC’s on the Republican primary was only $10 million.

Less than a week before the South Carolina primary, the total amount spent by ALL Republican candidates and ALL SuperPAC’s trying to influence the primary results was barely $20 million. That’s $7 million less than Alex Sink’s gubernatorial campaign spent on TV ads, and it’s barely a quarter the amount Rick Scott spent on his gubernatorial campaign.

More proof that the Republicans are experiencing a financial disaster.

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