Romney and allies outspend Santorum and backers 7-1 in Illinois
March 19th, 2012
08:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney and allies outspend Santorum and backers 7-1 in Illinois

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney and the super PAC backing his candidacy, Restore Our Future, have spent almost $4 million on broadcast and cable ads in Illinois, according to the latest media buy information.

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum and the super PAC backing his bid–Red, White and Blue Fund–purchased $530,111 in television time in the state. That equates to a 7-1 spending advantage for Romney.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN

A majority of the ad spending has been concentrated in the Chicago area since the city and its suburbs comprise a sizable portion of the electorate where Romney needs to do well in order to win the state.

The ads from Romney’s campaign and Restore Our Future both attack Santorum on such fronts as being “an economic lightweight,” “just another Washington insider,” and raises questions about his fiscal conservatism because he voted to raise the debt ceiling.

The information was provided to CNN by a Republican media consultant not affiliated with a campaign or super PAC but who wanted to remain anonymous because the information is sensitive.

Restore Our Future, however, is using its large cash advantage, having raised almost $37 million through the end of January, to help boost Romney in other ways as well in Illinois. In the last week it spent $74,000 on phone banking, $85,000 on internet advertising, and $52,000 on direct mail there, according to reports the group filed with the Federal Election Commission. The super PAC has spent more than $2.6 million for the Illinois primary when the amount for commercial time is added to that spent on other outreach.

Santorum has said he is very competitive despite the huge spending disadvantage he is facing. “We didn’t have any of the resource of these other candidates had, and yet because of our organizational ability, our ability to take limited resources and turn them into votes and winning 10 states, that’s amazing, with the fact that we’ve been outspent over 10 to 1 just in our campaign and with the super PAC, more than 10 to 1,” he told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

Santorum’s campaign, though, has faced some organizational problems and is not fielding a full slate of delegates in Illinois. Romney criticized Santorum over that deficiency on Sunday. “In a campaign, one of the things you recognize from day one, is that you need to organize a financial operation to make sure you can run the campaign,” Romney told “Fox News Sunday.” "We have to have a nominee who has the capacity to – and the organization necessary to raise money to be competitive. I intend to be very competitive with President Obama, to make sure that we get out message out, we defeat him. This is – this is not about a shoestring operation.”

Meanwhile the campaigns and super PACs are looking ahead to the next contests.

Santorum went up with a $69,000 broadcast buy in the New Orleans area beginning Tuesday. Louisiana, which holds its primary on Saturday, is considered a strong state for Santorum. The pro-Santorum super PAC, which had already started advertising there, bought another $130,000 worth of time there to buttress its push. Those figures were provided by the media buying source.

Restore Our Future had previously purchased $600,000 worth of ad time in Louisiana and has so far spent just over $100,000 for direct mail and phone banking as well there, according to reports filed with the FEC. The group also bought another $760,000 of ad time in Wisconsin, which doesn’t vote until April 3, bringing its total there to $1.27 million.

Also see:

Santorum hits back at 'economic lightweight' charge

Republicans ramp up efforts to slam Obama health law

Poll: Romney lead widens in Illinois


Filed under: 2012 • Illinois • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Of course Mitt outspends santorum, the repub billionaires have spoken

    March 19, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    As soon as ANY ad turns negative, I hit mute. romney trying desperately to buy the presidency.

    March 19, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Andrew

    Well, he is the money man and we help put him there!

    March 19, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. PJ/TX

    Time to question Romney about how many Cabinet positions, Ambassadorships, high profile government jobs, etc.
    he is selling to these "donors". Who are they, and what do they want? If they are not revealed, then we have
    our answer. Beware!

    March 19, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am more convinced than ever, that Mittens is not very bright, but neither are the vast majority of his supporters.

    March 19, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is a hypothetical situation I hope we never have to worry about. Romney and his "allies" have spent over $4 million just for the Illinois primary. At this point, every Republican in the country except for Rick Santorum believes Romney will be the Republican nominee for President. Now let's assume that Mr. Romney continues his spending ways and somehow manages to squeak past President Obama to beat him in the election. I am sure that Tom Scott will make sure that Democrats will be told that because of the number of voters, that Republcnans vote on November 6 (the actual election day) while Democrats and Independents will have to wait until Wednesday, November 7. And I am sure that the president of Diebold makes sure that every Obama vote registers at least two for Romney, just like it did when Kerry ran against Dubya. (How else did some precincts report 250% of their population having cast votes?)

    OK, now remember all those people who contributed to the Romney Pacs what to you and I would be big bucks but to them is only chump change? On November 7, they plan on standing in line with their hands out looking to Willard for payback. Thank you Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy for presenting the American People with this can of worms that have blown elections financially out of the water.

    March 19, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Rick is killing Rmoney if it was weighted for dollars spent per delegate. I thought the GOBP liked economic efficiency? Rmoney has to be running one of the most inefficient campaigns ever.

    March 19, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Spencer Mac

    Santorum, you raised 10 million in Feb to Romney's 11 million, you have a billionaire superpac supporter, why are so unorganized at every contest? You didnt even get on the ballot in 4 congressional districts in Illinois? Are you sure your qualified to run a country even though this is the 5th state your not making the ballot? Ohio several districts you were not on, the sate of Virginia where you live, Washington DC where you work, seriously explain how your campaign management is going to be a representation of a Santorum presidency, I dont think a headline of being outspent is a bonus or has any strength other than how strong antimormoanism (you cant buy that voting bloc)and how many mindless Rush-bots there are out there that dont know the candidates or back ground of the candidates

    March 19, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  9. Bill

    This is such garbage. I hope in the general election, the media will write such BS articles like this about Obama outspending Romney by 10 to 1. What in hell do you think politics is? It's all about having enough money to run ads and keeping your campaign in motion. If you don't have to ability to raise money and run an organized campaign, you really don't deserve or should be President. So, stop writing this nonsense. What do you think should happen? If Santorum or Gingrich be the nominee, should they tell Obama to please stop the ads because they don't have enough money to compete? Get real.

    March 19, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Yoiu got he money hony , Romneys got the time .

    It's all about the greenbaks.

    March 19, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can't figure out how Romney is spending this kind of money on the primaries. He almost seems as if he is made of money... Wait, he is made of other people's money. Santorum needs to make a deal of how much Romney is spending and only getting so far. Maybe Santorum could actually win it if there wasn't so much mud slung his way.

    March 19, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. Dvet

    He has all of the corporations backing him. At will employment means that you can be fired with or without cause. Thats like involuntary slavery. Privatize prisons and put them on the stock market. keep them full and make money. Humans are a commodity now. the repubics are going to start a war in this country if they get in office between the rich and the working class and thats a war they cant win.

    March 20, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    Hey money is speech right? It is just that Romney has much more to say.

    March 20, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  14. Marry

    Let’s see if this is a profitable investment for Mr. Romney. If he should win the presidency (not only the nomination) it will pay out big time. Not for us or the country but for him and his friends (did you see their new “tax-code-proposals”?). To make for 1% of the American population a profitable President might be a goal for him – however, I think for most of us it might be better to reelect a President that works successfully, despite the GOP party of "NO", for ALL Americans! And when President Obama is reelected, Mitt wasted an unbelievable amount of money and will have shown that he makes bad, very high stakes bets against the welfare and future of people hoping that they are stupid and do not see through his charade to take his “free stuff” out of government!

    March 20, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  15. Paul

    7 to 1? Is Mitt that nervous?

    March 20, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  16. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Romney the career presidential canadate hasn't created any jobs except on his campaign staff for his two failed presidential bids and his failed senate bid and couldn't get relected gov of mass. Where do the republicans get these total loser canadates???

    March 20, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |