Much has already been written about the influence of outside spending on this election cycle. One could make a compelling argument that in 2010 super PACs were undervalued, especially by Democrats. Conversely, one could argue that in 2012 the impact of these groups was overestimated, this time to the detriment of Republicans.
So how much impact do they have? The truth is somewhere in the middle. Like it or not, these groups have an important role, but campaigns still begin and end with the candidate’s ability to communicate a compelling vision to voters. Over the last 18 months, I think super PACs did what should be expected of them. They played a supporting role, pushed narratives, gave cover to candidates, and in some cases nudged the needle a point or two in select states and races.
It just so happened that Democratic groups did a better job of this than Republicans. Here’s why.
Published: Nov 13, 2012