Josh Marshall points out that a lot of Romney contributors have maxed out, while Obama donors generally have a lot more room to give, and says:
So one could imagine getting into late summer and Romney would be having a hard time finding new people to give while the Obama campaign would be able to keep harvesting money from his small donor base. (Things were never quite this restrictive; there are various party committees where candidates can direct money. Still, it could be a real problem.)
But under the Citizens United rules, Romney probably just sends those folks to Crossroad and Crossroads GPS. Not sure he’d ever really run into a problem.
I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. I’ll grant that third parties like Crossroads GPS probably do some kind of in-the-background coordination with campaigns, but it’s not like they’re working under the same roof as the Romney campaign. That matters, because it’s hard to see how Karl Rove’s message is going to be exactly the same as Romney’s on any given day in whatever state Mitt is visiting. And is Crossroads going to pay for staffers on the ground for months prior to the campaign, as the Obama campaign has been doing even in Kay’s red county?
Don’t get me wrong — if Crossroads GPS spends $100 million, that’s significant. But it’s not as effective as the Romney campaign spending $100 million, and if Romney can’t tap some more donors, it’s going to hurt him even if Rove and the Kochs step in.