Mitt Romney, who in years past would be watching his weak also-ran competition starting to bow out because of lack of campaign cash, is fighting off a multi-million dollar avalanche of Citizens United style Super PAC money. It’s not just Newt’s Super PAC and their anti-Romney movie :
[…]The Red, White and Blue Fund, an outside group that is promoting the candidacy of Rick Santorum, began advertising in South Carolina before the New Hampshire primary, softening the negative effects of Mr. Santorum’s potentially campaign killing — at least by the old rules — poor finish there on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the group, which was seeded with a major contribution from Foster Friess, a wealthy mutual fund executive, announced a new investment of $600,000 in television advertising in South Carolina. […]
While Jon M. Huntsman Jr. has had too little campaign cash to afford substantial advertising, a super PAC supporting him, Our Destiny, helped keep him afloat through New Hampshire and is expected to weigh in for him to some degree in South Carolina. The group has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mr. Huntsman’s father, a billionaire industrialist.
Super PAC money is probably going to have a major negative effect on Democrats in House and Senate races. For example, in pre-Citizens United years, I’d say that Elizabeth Warren would cruise to an easy victory in Massachusetts. This year, since she’s probably facing millions of dollars of Super PAC funded negative ads, I’m not so sure. But for the race that Republicans want to win the most, the Presidency, Super PACs are going to be at least as tough on Romney as they are on Obama. The Obama campaign is a money-raising machine unrivaled by Romney, so Mitt is going to have to waste time fundraising, and deplete his campaign accounts, to try to beat back Super PAC ads during at least the next couple of primaries. Before Citizens United, his campaign would have been stockpiling cash, not spending it.