The Excel nerds covering the presidential campaign got their moment this weekend, when the latest batch of Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports went public. There was plenty to chew over. Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee raked in $43 million compared with $40 million for Romney and the Republican National Committee. Then there are the super PACs. Pro-Romney American Crossroads raised $1.8 million in April, edging out Priorities USA—the pro-Obama PAC that can't seem to locate George Soros' phone number—by $200,000. With Obama and Romney both on pace to fill a Scrooge McDuck-sized pool of contributions, each new dollar holds diminishing returns. But at the congressional level—for instance, in high-stakes races in Montana or Nevada—a few million here or there might be enough to upend an election. As The New York Timesreported Sunday, there are plenty of funds for politicians campaigning for a legislative seat. Over $12 million in outside money has been funneled into Senate campaigns through early April and at least $7 million has gone toward House races. The bulk of that funding has come from conservative groups such as FreedomWorks. For the time being, that money is being funneled into intraparty primaries, but down-ballot Democrats are in trouble if that funding gap continues through the general election.
So They Say
People see the ears and Barack and I both have the ears, so I’m the most natural choice. I told him, jokingly, it’s definitely something I would consider—you just have to write the ending. So he’s working on the ending right now.”
—Will Smith, discussing the possibility of playing President Obama in a movie
Daily Meme: Booker!
- On Meet the Press yesterday, Newark mayor Cory Booker said he wasn't a fan of the Obama campaign's Bain Capital ads: “It’s nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”
- Or, "Corporations are (Democratic) people, too!"
- The New York Times: "Mr. Booker’s first instinct may have been influenced by his ties with Wall Street executives, many of whom are his supporters."
- This is a moment where he probably would have appreciated Chris Christie saying, "I got this."
- Booker quickly backtracked, making a four-minute video saying that Bain was "fair game."
- Republicans gobbled it up, starting a "I Stand with Cory" petition.
- David Axelrod reprimanded Booker, but also said, "If my house was on fire, I'd hope he was my next door neighbor."
- Eric Fehrnstrom, on the other hand, told MSNBC, “I agree with Mayor Booker, who said that these attacks against Bain Capital and free enterprise are nauseating."
- Bloomberg: "Booker’s nausea moment may ultimately mean even more to Romney’s erstwhile private equity colleagues than to the candidate himself."
What We're Writing
- Paul Waldman: Despite conservatives' claims, Obama has indeed been vetted.
- Jamelle Bouie: For women, social issues are economic issues.
What We're Reading
- Frank Rich explains what Clybourne Park and the Obama presidency say aboutwhere our country stands on race.
- Molly Ball on how the West could be a big player in 2012.
- Alec MacGillis argues that Ohio is the battleground for November.
- Molly Redden profiles Mitt Romney's combative policy wonk.
- Jodi Kantor takes a deep look into Romney's faith.
- Scott Walker is paranoid about voting fraud despite evidence that it barely exists.
- The Senate's upstarts are sporting far more grey hairs than past generations.
- Jon Chait gives Mitt Romney's book report an F.
Poll of the Day
A Republican upstart is poised to cause trouble for another establishment favorite in a Senate primary next week. Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is the party favorite with ads cut by Rick Perry, while former Solicitor General Ted Cruz is a darling of the Sarah Palin crowd. Dewhurst holds a narrow 40-31 percent lead over Cruz according to a new UT/Texas Tribune poll. The primary will be sent into a runoff for July if Dewhurst fails to crack 50 percent. Cruz would likely do far better in that second round of voting once the crop of conservative challengers has thinned away.