It has been said that money cannot buy happiness. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, a recent poll shows it doesn't guarantee support, either.
Restoring Our Future, the pro-Romney Super PAC, has spent nearly double what the Rick Santorum-supporting Red, White and Blue Fund has doled out in television, radio and print advertisements in Michigan, with little evidence the money is influencing voters enough to secure a victory for Romney in the state's primary. [See pictures of the 2012 GOP candidates.]
"I think generally, the fact that Romney has had to devote so much time and resources to the Michigan primary is a bad sign," says Anthony Corrado, a campaign finance expert at the Brookings Institute. "The campaign has placed an emphasis on the state, forcing Romney to spend money in Michigan that he would have prefered to spend elsewhere."
A Public Policy Polling survey released late Monday shows Santorum with a one-point lead over Romney in Michigan.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse says even with roots in the state, Romney's failed to resonate with working-class and middle-class residents, a problem that could not be fixed with a flurry of attack ads against Santorum.
"They still remember that just a few years ago, Romney argued that we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt,'" Woodhouse said in a statement.
Michael Malbin, the director of the Campaign Finance Institute, offers another explanation.
"There is a law of diminishing return that applies to campaign spending," he says. "Just because you spend more doesn't mean you will win."
Malbin argues Santorum is more competitive financially than ever before, making it harder for Romney's Super PAC to bury his competitors.
Malbin says the 2-to-1 gap in spending is not large enough to change the outcome of a state primary. In Florida, for example, Restoring Our Future outspent Gingrich's Super PAC 5-to-1.
"In the early stages, Santorum was being outspent 15-to-1. Now he is closing a gap financially," Malbin says. "He is in the phase financially where he can use the media as Romney can to multiply his message."