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Ad tracking firm Kantar Media Intelligence/CMAG has put together a chart comparing spending between the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity and two major Democratic outside groups, the Senate Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC. It's not even close:

Chart comparing ad spending between Americans for Prosperity and the Senate Majority PAC & House Majority PAC
(click for larger)
Of course, this doesn't offer a complete picture of all third-party spending this cycle. But even if you added everything together, Republicans would still have a big edge. The question is whether Democrats will be able to achieve something closer to parity as Election Day draws nearer—and whether the effects of this early assault can be reversed, or if the damage is permanent.

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Comment Preferences

  •  All the money in the world (10+ / 0-)

    can't buy a vote if you're paying attention to what those domestic terrorists brothers are doing to this country.

  •  Ideas trump spending. This notion that elections (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, MyMy

    are ledger sheets is simply untrue. Stick with progressive values and you will have more winners than losers regardless of the dollars spent.

    The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science. Carl Sagan

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:35:59 PM PDT

    •  Idea don't trump anything (0+ / 0-)

      personal popularity does and that's why ads work.

      •  So true for prom queen but if our national leaders (0+ / 0-)

        are elected upon the basis of being likable, well then we will surely see more film and television actors gain office. Terry Mac in Virginia was oh so popular you say and it wasn't his ideas that trumped Cooch.

        The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science. Carl Sagan

        by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice rounding error graphic. /s nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  They'll win the $$$ wars (7+ / 0-)

    The question is whether individual Democrats will use their numbers to spread a progressive message.

    If we wait for the party apparatus to do the messaging, we'll lose big.

    •  You've naile it: "we'll lose big." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kvetchnrelease, Skyye

      There's no evidence Dems are going to get a message together for 2014. That's a problem from DC at the top of the party.

      And there's this: Obama is going to watch his legacy slide into oblivion with the endless shitstorm a GOP Congress will be for his last two years. Even that doesn't seem to scare the Administration enough to get a hold of messaging.

      I do not understand how these folks are thinking.

    •  So what are you waiting for? (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously, I see a lot of complaints here about what the Dems are and are not doing. So why aren't the activists doing anything?

      What is it? You have no money? join the club.

      Your message doesn't mean shit if you don't have the means to deliver it.

      Once again, see de Blasio, Bill. Perfect example of how being a staunch progressive with a consistent message gets you nowhere if everyone is against you.

    •  But they lost the 2012 elections, badly (0+ / 0-)

      Let them waste their money again. One of these days these Koch brothers will realize that in fact the world has passed them by and left them beside the road, relics of a very bygone era.

  •  They think they can win with Propaganda. (6+ / 0-)

    Plain and simple.

    Sabotage the country then lie via ubiquitous propaganda. Great plan.

    Seriously, just call it out, as is:

    Republicans are trying to dupe the American people with political propaganda. That one should be pretty easy to make stick.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:37:12 PM PDT

    •  The trouble is this strategy usually works... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, peptabysmal
      Republicans are trying to dupe the American people with political propaganda.
      The Republicans spend big money on messaging.

      Democrats need to do the same.

      "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

      by markthshark on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:45:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats don't have big money n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Bull... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, Kvetchnrelease, buffie

          For every billionaire on the right there's one on the left. There will be plenty of big money from wealthy donors when/if Hillary runs in 2016.

          But what about 2014?

          Democrats just have to make billionaires on the left realize that even electing the best POTUS will have little effect on pushing a liberal agenda if both houses of Congress are run by Republicans. For example, compare 2008-2010 -- to -- 2010-2014. The difference between the two was the Democrats setting the agenda in both Houses.

          Left-leaning billionaires staying on the sidelines in 2014 will ensure a neutered Democratic POTUS -- not only Obama for the remainder of his term.

          But also his successor.

          "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

          by markthshark on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:38:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats need to spend wisely... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irmaly

        In the last cycle, the 30 second TV commercial wasn't effective as millions of people tuned out.  DVRs also limit the amount of commercials that people see.  Add youth demographics where many don't watch TV, they stream it.  All of these limit who sees these things, and you're left with the elderly and LIVs.

        Smart spending would target the TV-less viewing audience with web banner ads, social media, etc.

        Let the Kochsuckerz blanket the TV with their message--it didn't work last time and it's unlikely these TV viewing trends are going away...

      •  Well of course it does. When has it been (0+ / 0-)

        challenged?

        When did any major political party decry the wholesale sponsorship of American politics?

        Democrats don't want to play by the rules of democracy either, and that is the problem.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:11:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The plain truth is that they believe (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peptabysmal, k9disc, wilywascal, artebella

      elections are for sale to the highest bidder.  Far too often, they're right.

      Thanks, Supreme Court, for taking away even the illusion of democracy.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:48:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yea, I think that is pretty clear that Democrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        don't want to hassle with small 'd' democracy either.

        The whole fucking system totally stinks and you can't hang around it without starting to stink yourself. Sad...

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:14:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is outrageous... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, Sybil Liberty, buffie, Skyye

    We need all donors on the job stat.

    This business of seemingly sacrificing 2014 for the sake of ensuring Hillary Clinton's election in 2016 is very shortsighted, IMO.

    One election at a time, people!

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:37:23 PM PDT

  •  This is exactly what Scalia et al had in mind... (7+ / 0-)

    ...with the Citizens United decision -- big money should be unfettered in its attempts to defeat democracy (replacing it with a plutocracy, where the mases are ruled by the "deserving" few).

  •  Isn't it a question of how effective it is? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble, Crashing Vor, FiredUpInCA

    I mean didn't Rove spend like 500 million on Romney or something?

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:41:10 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for sitting it out, Priorities USA (7+ / 0-)

    I know Hillary's coronation is "inevitable" and all but you'd think one of the biggest Dem SuperPAC's could find it in it's heart to maybe try and help out. I know that the fucking "purity" progressives are going to take the blame once the midterm results are in, but for right now, Hillary's PAC is the only one I see not showing up. And why?

    Makes it look like the Dems are okay with having the POTUS office as long as it's too gridlocked to get anything progressive done.

  •  The problem is... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Eric K, peptabysmal, dagnome

    the bottom 80% don't have the kind of money to compete with the top 10% in spending.

    To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

    by notrouble on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:44:02 PM PDT

  •  If people did not consume the propaganda (0+ / 0-)

    They could spend all the money they wanted and have nothing to show for it.

  •  BUT...Will it work? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Wendell

    I fully understand just how much AFP has spent. But I question how well it will work when so much of their money has been spent on ads that have been proven to be complete bullshit. In fact, I read somewhere where they were looking into toning it down a bit so they didn't get destroyed by every fact checker in the country...and potentially become the most expensive joke in American politics.

    So yes they're outspending. But everything they've done thus far has been proven bullshit.

    •  Will it work in NC? (0+ / 0-)

      Remains to be seen, but I agree that their effectiveness is questionable.

      I do think the onslaught of ads has driven Hagan's numbers down.

      But the GOP senate primary race here is a clusterf**k so far. And Hagan is running unopposed on the Democratic side.

      Hagan probably isn't going to spend much until after the primaries are over and she knows who she's running against.

      Besides, I heard somewhere during the 2012 race that TV ads

       1) were no longer as effective as they used to be, and

       2) happened to cost much more if they weren't coming from the actual candidate.

      Finally, if a lot of Koch money is going toward linking Hagan with the ACA and being anti-ACA is no longer effective, their ads are no longer effective.

      History is a guide, not a destination.

      by NCJan on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:03:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Hagan's prospects seem a bit better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCJan

        because of the outcry against the bills the Art Pope-owned Governor and legislature have passed. The Moral Monday movement has helped too.

        "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

        by buffie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:59:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  'what goes around comes around', true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheDudester

      but in politics, karma takes way too long. Eventually isn't soon enough.

      proof in point > Thomas still occupies space on the bench.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:05:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand and I agree but I'm not talking karma (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buffie

        Just the mere fact that so much of their message is totally full of shit. And since we still have a long time until elections, people still have a lot of time to change their opinion about Obamacare. Even the Koch people have claimed they need to tone it down because they were getting nailed by every fact checker in the country.

  •  How expensive is it to advertise in Alaska (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buffie

    Can somebody throw them a couple of bucks?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:48:24 PM PDT

  •  Well this has been the pattern since 2010 (0+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:50:39 PM PDT

  •  The US Congress is "For Sale" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo, buffie

    Which would you rather have?  A Bunch of worthless paper money or a Legislature full of legislative tools ready to do whatever you want?

    I guess the answer to that question is easy enough.  Especially if your name is Koch!

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:50:50 PM PDT

  •  Dems won't spend (can't in some instances). (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilywascal, artebella

    Once again, it's up to us, as individuals, to do the grunt work--GOTV, GOTR, guerrilla ads, phone trees, Facebook battles.

    I know resources are not equal, but I really wish the committees and campaigns would use those they have wisely and not just buy the same, tired, old media consultants.

    Sometimes I'm tempted to make a classic media consultant ad with the photoshop-ugly picture, the dark clouds, ominous music and the lot, to show how boring and predictable those things are.

    Then again, somebody'd probably want to hire me to make more of that crap if I did.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:53:30 PM PDT

  •  We are never going to outspend them (0+ / 0-)

    they have most of the money.  So, perhaps we should be focusing on messaging and unity of message instead?

    •  Message discipline would help (0+ / 0-)

      The GOP has this down pat.. Democrats, not so much ;-(

      Speaking the SAME talking points, almost verbatim, helps to reinforce the impression that the talking point pertains to something real.

      The GOP knows this, hence all their carefully Luntz-crafted "sound bites".

      Would that we Dems would have better message discipline, and stay consistently ON POINT!

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm starting to let it sink (0+ / 0-)

    in that the Koch brothers are slowly winning this war. We just can't overcome the constant raining down of hundreds of millions of dollars on conservative politics. They waste a lot of money, but they also have some real successes, and it may just be a matter of time before we basically live in a country whose policies are Kochian through and through. I used to dread such a thought, but I'm tired of being miserable so I've decided to just relax and let it happen.

  •  The Koch brothers are badly outspending (0+ / 0-)

    Can we please get an update on George Soros !

    Reality check - it's their $$$$ !

    Let them all spend it as they want, without any criticism from the Daily Kos.

    AMEN

  •  Exactly why (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats should have been on the campaign finance reform bus 40 years ago. No surprise on this end.

  •  Not surprised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    They spent a lot in 2012.

  •  Iowa is interesting. (0+ / 0-)

    If I'm reading the graphic correctly, the Dems, at least so far, are outspending the Repugs in the race to fill Tom Harkin's senate seat. The only other case of Dems out-spending R's is in MA.

    Since Iowa could go either way (Grassley anyone?), that surprises me. Maybe the deluge will come later.

    Let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. - Robert Kennedy

    by bogieshadow on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:10:29 PM PDT

  •  Spots? How about dollars? (0+ / 0-)

    Comparing two organizations?  Why?  What picture does this give us?

    Let's see the entire third party spending by party by state.  Until then, it is meaningless.

    And, let's see it in dollars, not spots.  Radio spots are cheap compared to TV.  Which one is actually spending more dollars?

  •  I got a million of 'em... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buffie

    That would be BAD ideas to anyone observing what these despicable traitors are doing to the democratic process...Voters need to understand that distracted malaise empowers these people and their well financed machine.There is no substitute for understanding the issues,talking to others about what is at stake and voting for your interests as an American.

  •  Immense Wealth corrupts so most of 0.01% seek out (0+ / 0-)

    the more corrupt political party to do business with.  

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:23:34 PM PDT

  •  Go figure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly

    No wonder Democrats are struggling for money, energy and votes when the party leaders are so quick to cave, like Debo P. Adegbile's and Dr. Vivek Murthey's nominations and the IMF provision of the Senate Ukraine aid bill.

  •  Who thought super villains were real... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, buffie

    They may not be flamboyant.  They may not have death rays. But CLEARLY, the Koch brothers have evil intention in what they are doing.  This isn't about money.  This is about world domination.

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:31:56 PM PDT

  •  Bill Maher was right (0+ / 0-)

    The progressive billionaires need to step up.

    Where are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, etc ?

  •  It won't matter soon (0+ / 0-)

    We saw during the 2012 Presidential election that all the money in the world (almost literally) spent by the Right to get rid of Obama just didn't work. Romney was destroyed. Why? Because he could keep his mouth shut and people learned that the crap coming from his mouth was the official line of the GOP/Tea Party. The masses are waking up and deciding that they want no part of the party that alinates women, gays, students, non whites, non Christians, the poor, the middle class, the elderly and the handicaped. Sounds like most of the population of the U.S. Unless the GOP totally separates themselves from the Tea Party, the extreme wealthy, the racists, the homophobes and the misogynists it will become a non factor that will only win by cheating and rigging elections. Eventually that be exposed as well and may be the final nail in the coffin.

    •  IF this were REALLY true, perhaps Alex Sink (0+ / 0-)

      might have won in Florida.

      Gotta hand it to the GOP - that Gerrymandering in 2010 has really served them well ;-(

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:12:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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