The Supreme Court’s health care ruling seems to have worked wonders on the health of both candidates’ bank accounts.
As both sides jockey to spin the ruling in their own favor, some early tea leaves on the impact of the case came in the 24 hours after the ruling, when the campaigns sought to capitalize on the decision by raising small-dollar donations.
But conservatives at the grassroots, who have never been among Romney’s closest political allies, tend to rally around their nominee when a galvanizing event comes along. When Democratic consultant Hillary Rosen criticized Ann Romney earlier this year, for example, the GOP and Romney quickly pounced, and reaped the reward from a small-dollar fundraising moment.
If Romney can keep pulling in many small-dollar donors, he could chip away at one of President Obama’s last fundraising advantages, and show that there’s real voter enthusiasm for his candidacy.
Obama’s campaign is not releasing its fundraising totals from the past 24 hours, suggesting that doing so was a cynical move. But campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt told reporters in an email that Obama actually raised more than Romney in the wake of the decision — he just won’t say how much better.
“It’s perverse that Mitt Romney won’t share details about what he’d do for the millions he’d leave uninsured or at the whims of insurance companies when he ‘kills Obamacare dead,’ but he’ll share the hourly details of his fundraising after the Supreme Court ruling,” LaBolt said. “We’ve outraised the Romney campaign in that time period but that’s not the point — our supporters are more committed than ever to ensuring that insurance companies can’t drop coverage for people who get sick or discriminate against people with preexisting conditions by reelecting the president.”
If Obama did indeed outraised Romney in the first 24 hours of the new fight over health care, that could poke a hole in the GOP theory that the Supreme Court handed Obama a legislative victory but a political defeat in the long-term.