Romney Ad Spending Soars as Debate Looms

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 13 2012 2:57 PM

Romney Ad Spending Soars in Last Weeks of Campaign as Second Debate Looms

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Crowds at Mitt Romney's events have soared since the first debate

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Mitt Romney and his allies are going all-in during the final three weeks of the campaign, trying to gain an edge by outspending President Obama in critical states. Ad buys doubled and even tripled in several key states such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and Virginia last week, reports the Washington Post, noting that Romney and his allies are driving this increase. And for the first time since the summer, Obama trailed in total ad expenditures last week.

Romney’s stepped up effort is being helped by the increase in donations following the first presidential debate. That came in hand-in-hand with larger crowds at his campaign rallies, with more than 10,000 people turning out to at least three of his events. And it’s not just the numbers. The attendees at the events are also particularly energetic, points out Politico.

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That’s partly why expectations are just as high, if not more so, for the second debate than the first. One Republican strategist tells the Associated Press that Obama could suddenly see his edge in the polls disappear if he doesn’t manage to improve his debate performance Tuesday. There’s lots of expectation that the vice-presidential debate Thursday gave Romney an opening to continue increasing his attacks against Obama, with an emphasis on foreign policy. In fact, after the Thursday debate, Republicans clearly put the administration’s handling of last month’s Libya attack at the center of the campaign, points out the Washington Post. That line of attack is expected to continue Tuesday.

Obama devoted his Saturday to debate prep in Virginia as his campaign released a new ad narrated by Morgan Freeman that seemed aimed at neutralizing GOP attacks by highlighting the president’s successes, as well as the challenges he faced when he moved into the White House.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.