The Romney campaign has projected a very finely crafted appearance as a money-making mint that just so happens to also be a Presidential campaign. But the New York Times' Jeremy Peters and Nicholas Confessore report the campaign doesn't have as much to spend as we're led to believe.
Romney's team bragged about $100 million plus fundraising hauls in June, July and August (though Obama outraised him by $3 million that month). The idea being that the Romney campaign will have more money to buy more ads in more states than the Obama campaign, and on top of that there's the support from the numerous wealthy Super PACs working in Romney's favor. We bristled at reports the campaign owes $11 million. But the campaign is not the financial juggernaut we've come to think it is because of the way they've reported their fundraising hauls.
Romney aides released informal dollar figures that lumped several pools of money — some available for his use, others not — into a single figure, providing a perception greater than reality: $106 million in June and $101 million in July, far more than Mr. Obama and the Democrats.
Yet those figures obscured the fact that most of the money Mr. Romney was raising was reserved for those other political entities like the Republican National Committee.
Most of Romney's reported earnings go to the "Republican National Committee, state Republican organizations and Congressional races," according to Peters and Confessore. When they looked closer at the financials of the two campaigns, it turns Obama's campaign is actually getting more money deposited directly into their campaign account. That means they're free from advertising spending limits the party committees are bound by. The campaign is free to spend their money any which way they choose. Which means they're currently outspending Romney (and the PACs) in television advertising in three key states.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.