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GOP 2012 Hopefuls Lavish Time, Money on 2010 Candidates

Republican presidential hopefuls have been busy crisscrossing the country in the lead-up to election day, performing last-minute favors on behalf of candidates

Jul 31, 2020
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Republican presidential hopefuls have been busy crisscrossing the country in the lead-up to election day, performing last-minute favors on behalf of candidates in key congressional and gubernatorial races they wouldn’t mind seeing repaid when the Republican presidential primaries roll around. All the headlines documenting these appearances tend to blur together, however, which makes the Center for Responsive Politics’ new breakdownof all the top contenders’ expenses up to this point all the more helpful.
A quick glance at the data yields a few observations, including the most obvious one: While the media follow former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s travel schedule and endorsements like a hawk, SarahPAC’s total receipts of $4.94 million, while impressive, pale in comparison the $8.4 million raised by former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R-Mass.) Free and Strong America PAC. Also of note is the fact that despite her massive haul, Palin’s PAC has only donated $135,500 to federal candidates. Romney, on the other hand, has given more than $470,000 during the same time frame.
Direct donations to candidates are only one function of the work that PACs affiliated with presidential hopefuls tend to do, of course. The PACs also spend money on travel and other activities to assist political allies campaigning for office. But SarahPAC’s relative stinginess with candidates might also have to do with the fact that it’s using up a relatively large percentage of its expenditures — more than $670,000 — to fund media and political consultants and other forms of media.
Instead of giving lots of money directly, in other words, she’s spending to boost her own profile. It could pay off by making her endorsements carry that much more weight, or it could backfire by leaving some candidates feeling snubbed when it comes to direct donations to their campaigns.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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