Saturday’s Washington Post article about big conservative money flooding into House and Senate races is just the latest sign of this year’s changing post-Citizens United political landscape. The fear among Democrats? That wealthy Republicans will pour so much money into down-ballot races that Democratic congressional candidates will be blown out of the water in the fall. They point to the role that outside spending by a handful of millionaires played in the Republican presidential primaries by helping to keep Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in the race, and wealthy donors also seem to have made a difference in Dick Lugar’s recent downfall. And then there are the very recent Joe Ricketts/Rev. Wright revelations….
Of course, one reason Republican “independent” expenditures are so high this year? These wealthy activists are involved in an ideological war for the future of the Republican Party, which is playing itself out in races like Lugar’s. Some of their spending will be offset by labor unions, trial lawyers, environmental organizations and other liberal-aligned groups in the general election, though one rich guy’s $50,000,000 campaign requires A LOT of fundraising to match. Another alternative? Start recruiting supporters now — online.