Obama’s Spending: Battleground States, Staff Bonuses

Newly filed spending reports show President Barack Obama’s campaign committee transferred almost $2 million in the final days of his re-election campaign to three key states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

Money well spent, as he carried the trio en route to racking up 332 electoral votes to Republican challenger Mitt  Romney’s 206.

Obama’s Pennsylvania expenditure — $545,000 — came after Romney mounted a last-ditch effort to try to win it as polls showed the race there tightening. The state has been reliably Democratic in recent presidential elections, and Obama held on to it, 52 percent to 47 percent (down from his 10 percentage point win four years ago).

Ohio was seen by both campaigns as potentially the race’s fulcrum — the state that would determine the overall winner. Polls showed Obama with a small but consistent lead in the battleground, and he made a final investment of $762,000 to keep his advantage. He won it by two points — 50 percent to 48 percent.

Florida, with 29 electoral votes the biggest prize among the election’s most competitive states, was central to the Romney camp’s math for winning the White House. The Republican and his aides went into Election Day confident he would win it, and some polls agreed. Obama funneled $636,000 in last-minute spending there, and won it by less than 75,000 votes out of more than 8.4 million cast — a 0.9 point margin.

After winning the election, the Obama committee made bonus payments totaling $171,375 on Nov. 23 to four senior campaign aides. Campaign manager Jim Messina received $68,550, and deputy campaign managers
Stephanie Cutter, Julianna Smoot and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon each got $34,275.


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