Groups Prep for a Pricey 2012 Presidential Campaign

2010 was a banner year but 2012 could be even more expensive.

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Patriot Majority, a progressive organization that spent $2.9 million supporting Democratic candidates in the 2010 elections, is hoping to be a bigger presence in 2012. Patriot Majority President Craig Varoga says that he has already begun conversations with donors about 2012. "One of the messages we've been sharing with people is: fool me once, lose the House. Fool me twice, lose everything. I think people get that, and we're thinking of that going into 2012," says Varoga.

Michael Connolly, spokesman for the conservative Club for Growth, which spent $8 million in the 2010 cycle, says that his organization is also planning ahead. He says, "We're always growing, and shortly after the election, we've already begun to look at potential opportunities for 2012."

Altogether, says Glavin, fundraising success in 2012 will depend on a party's ability to make policy choices that mobilize their donor bases. "The donors have to be activated to participate, to give. If you're not doing well, it's a lot harder to get people to get activated," he says. In short, the accomplishments of President Obama and the 112th Congress, especially their abilities to better the economic situation, will lay the groundwork for pulling in the money, and the votes, in 2012.

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