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As in 2004, incumbency and a sneak early attack could trump the money bags

Published: Friday, Aug. 24 2012 3:59 p.m. MDT

Our take: The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court has drastically changed the way that elections can be run — never again will they be done on the cheap. Advertising by Super PACs for this year's presidential campaigns is projected to cost almost $1 billion. This article in the Economist discusses the way both campaigns are likely to spend their money and how Super PACs and other 527 groups are going to contribute to the presidential campaigns.

Attend a Democratic campaign event, trawl left-leaning websites, speak to a candidate or activist, and conversation quickly turns to the right’s billion-dollar plot to buy November’s elections. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 in Citizens United, companies (and unions) can now donate without limit to “super PACs”, which are free to spend as much as they want advocating the election or defeat of particular candidates. As a result, the complaint runs, conservative groups will have enough money to flood the airwaves with attack ads, drowning out more representative voices and creating an artificial Republican tide.

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