Super PAC Floodgates to Open for Romney?

Posted on 21 March 2012

It’s been a while since we checked in on the world of political philanthropy, but an article today in Politico hints that we are close to finding out just how much Super PACs will influence the upcoming election.

Up until now, Republican Super PACs have been split among the candidates running for their party’s candidacy. Popular opinion has always held that once a candidate is named, the majority of major GOP donors, and Super PACs, will coalesce into one fundraising powerhouse in support. Now, as the republican primary nears its conclusion, it appears as if that will be the case. GOP Super PACs like American Crossroads, and major donors like the Koch brothers, have gone on record that they will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to combat President Obama’s quest for reelection.

On the other side, things don’t look as rosy, as President Obama has failed to line up major donors willing or able to match the deep-pocket supporters for the GOP. Also, the Super PAC in support of the President, Priorities USA Action, has not yet realized the financial windfall it hoped for after President Obama reversed his long-standing opposition to such unlimited, outside support.

For me, this all boils down to the question of whether we’ve entered a new phase of American politics where major donors can sway a presidential election by outspending their partisan opponents. And, if so, what does that say about the nature of our democracy? These questions are coming into focus now, and the next several months will be a fascinating time to observe just how much of an impact philanthropy can truly have on our society.

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