Romney spends “like drunken sailor” even as he gets less return for his every campaign dollar, and even as his personal investment portfolio tanks
“Last week I took a look at Mitt Romney’s spending patterns ahead of the Ames, Iowa straw poll and determined that although Romney would likely get a bit of a boost from his win, the results actually augured poorly for his campaign because of the large amount of money that he had to expend in order to secure a win,” argues Jonathan Singer in a web log post titled Is Mitt Romney Running out of Money.
Indeed at his rate of spending per vote in Ames, Romney would have to spend between $27.5 billion and $62 billion in order to win the popular vote, an amount of money that far outpaces his own vast personal wealth. As I noted at the time of my last post, perhaps that was an unfair comparison because it will undoubtedly cost less per vote in a general election than in a straw poll. That said, Romney’s spending habits clearly are not sustainable, particularly because of the fact that he actually isn’t bringing in such huge fundraising dollars (without his own contributions his campaign would have about the cash-on-hand of John McCain). And as a further indication of this unsustainability, Romney is reported to be drastically curtailing his expenditures on paid media …
… Sure, it sounds like there are some explanations as to why this might not actually be a sign of trouble for the Romney campaign, specifically that other campaigns traditionally have shied away from spending significant sums on ads during this period. But then again, the Romney campaign isn’t exactly running a traditional campaign — seldom have we seen a presidential candidate, outside of a Ross Perot or a Steve Forbes, self-fund to the extent that Romney has. So though there is an argument to be made about diminishing returns for advertising dollars, I’m not certain that it applies to Romney, who has spent like a drunken sailor and been able to do so by giving at least $9 million to his campaign so far … more
We enlarge upon similar themes. See:
- Romney’s massive media expenditures less and less effective; more on Romney and the law of diminishing marginal returns on investment
- Pearson: “Romney, facing high stakes on Saturday, turns up TV”–but TV is less and less effective for the troubled candidate
Moral: even when spending massively, Romney’s level of support can only rise so high.
Will Romney’s level of spending hold with his personal fortune in possible jeopardy? See: Mitt Romney Hit By Mortgage Meltdown, as reported by the estimable Brett Arends.