Will Ad Fatigue Mute GOP's Late Barrage?

Republicans' expected financial advantage in the presidential campaign's final weeks may not pay the dividends they had once hoped for.

Throughout the spring and early-summer months, Mitt Romney bided his time as President Obama's re-election team poured its resources into a series of early advertising blitzes intended to define their opponent as a hard-hearted opportunist.

As the former Massachusetts governor worked to replenish his own coffers after a draining primary fight, his campaign pointed to evidence that Obama’s assault on Romney’s business background was not moving the needle, and GOP strategists conveyed private assurances to donors that the tide would turn once the financial playing field leveled off in the fall.

That may have been true then, but there is now general agreement on both sides that the early Obama push was effective in negatively defining Romney.

Less certain is whether the post-Labor Day fundraising sprint, when the Romney camp’s prudence in conserving its resources earlier was supposed to pay off, will reap similar rewards for the Republican.

It apparently hasn’t done so, though not because of any slide in Romney’s vaunted fundraising prowess.

“Of course it’s important to have that money advantage, but what has to be unsettling for the Romney team is that they’ve not found a message that will break through in the battleground states,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “I don’t think the money’s going to dry up. I don’t think that’s a concern right now. I think their biggest concern is how to win Ohio and Virginia.”

Read more from Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics

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