Daily Kos’ DHinMI has a very informative post about independent expenditures on behalf of the Democratic candidates in OH and TX. It’s basically a tale of the competition between three groups who have been supporting HRC almost from the beginning–the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Emily’s List, and the American Federation of Teachers–and two who have more recently endorsed Obama–the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Looks like SEIU in particular is really kicking out the jams for Obama in OH and TX:
Through the Wisconsin primary, the three groups backing Clinton spent about $4.4 million. In Ohio, they have continued the model of what worked well in the early states—lots of direct mail, probably directed at women, followed up with phone calls. In Ohio, they have boosted their program. Whereas in most states they appear to have sent about 6 pieces of mail, it appears that in Ohio their target audience has received up to 8 pieces. They have also run a small amount of media, and are now following up the mail with phone calls. The total expenditures come to about $500,000.
FEC reports indicate that SEIU will probably spend over 5 times as much as AFSCME and EMILY’s list in Ohio. They’ve spent $400,000 in mail, almost matching AFSCME and EMILY’s List. In addition to the mail, they have also spent $200,000 on phones, $425,000 on a paid canvass program, and $1.4 million on electronic media. All together, with staff, production and other expenses factored in, SEIU has spent over $2.6 million in Ohio.
Obama will benefit from other expenditures. While EMILY’s list has spent $140,000 in media in Texas—such a small expenditure suggests it’s probably Spanish language radio, or possibly cable ads on networks that focus on women, like Lifetime—SEIU has dropped over $1.7 million in to that state. They have spent $700,000 on media, almost $500,000 on a canvass program, $300,000 on phones and almost $300,000 on mail.
The amount SEIU has spent just in Ohio and Texas now equals the combined spending of AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY’s List from the start of the campaign through the Wisconsin primary.
If Obama manages to pull off wins in these two states, he’ll owe a lot to his new union friends.