The 2012 presidential election cycle begins Monday — at least that’s how it will appear when Crossroads GPS, a conservative action group advised by Karl Rove, airs a $5 million commercial attacking Barack Obama’s economic policies. Over the next two months, the amount spent on anti-Obama television ads in the campaign will total $20 million, a number that suggests conservatives are worried about whisperings that Obama will raise $1 billion for his re-election effort.

Once again, the battle for the nation’s top job will be decided not by who can propose and do the most good for its people, but who can scare up the most money. –ARK

National Journal:

The conservative group Crossroads’ GPS policy arm is going up with a significant $5 million advertising campaign next week, attacking President Obama on the economy, according to a copy of the ad shared with National Journal. Over the next two months, the group’s television campaign targeting Obama’s record on the economy will total $20 million.

… The $20 million that the Rove-aligned group has committed to the ad campaign — well over one year before the presidential election — is a telling indicator of how much clout it will be wielding in the 2012 campaign. It raised about $70 million for the entire 2010 cycle on Senate and House races. In just one campaign, it’s spending a significant sum of that to attack President Obama at this early stage.

And the money on this one ad campaign alone is more than three times the $6.2 million that the Republican National Committee, which usually funds ads like these, has in cash on hand. (That doesn’t include the $18.5 million the RNC has in debt.)

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