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Chasing Away Donors

No wonder David Axelrod and the president are whining about money. Their side is short on it. It seems the big donors who gave so lavishly in 2008 are keeping their checkbooks closed this year. The New York Times explains:

The absence of these Democratic megadonors is contributing to a huge disparity in spending between pro-Republican and pro-Democratic groups. The groups wield huge influence in many House and Senate races because they can take in contributions of unlimited size.

In the last week, Republican-leaning groups outspent their Democratic counterparts on television by more than seven to one on Senate races and nearly four to one on House races across the country, according to data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. The gap shows few signs of abating, even with the midterm election season in full swing.

Why the stinginess? Well, the economy is bad, the party is going to lose big time — and the president excoriated independent spending, says the Gray Lady. You mean his donors took him seriously and got nervous? Seems so — another Obama brainstorm gone bad. It seems George Soros (aside from his J Street largess) is tightening the purse strings, as are other mega-donors. “Many major donors, in fact, seem to be drawing a distinction between continuing to support left-leaning policy organizations and other institutions, and giving money to political groups focused on this election.”

In sum, Obama’s policies have turned off business and leftist donors, and his rants on expenditures dimmed these people’s enthusiasm for campaign giving:

Some more ideological donors are also upset that the Obama administration has not been more aggressive in pushing a liberal agenda. Big donors from Wall Street, including hedge fund executives and investment bankers, are also angry at the administration.

It also appears, however, that Republicans have outmaneuvered their Democratic counterparts since the Citizens United decision. They have taken advantage of Democratic broadsides against the ruling, which have inevitably had an effect on the attitudes of Democratic donors.

For a campaign operation as astute as this one was, the Obama team has managed to turn off the electorate, its donors, and the media. That’s an impressive accomplishment.