Short hits: Big money, polling quirks, and Americans Elect

1. From the Center for Public Integrity comes a story about the funding behind what will likely be the biggest spending Super PAC of 2012 — Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

Three Texas tycoons are responsible for more than half the funds that conservative super PAC American Crossroads has raised since it was founded by top GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie in 2010.

American Crossroads has raised $56 million, including a paltry $1.2 million in March. The top donor for the month was hedge fund executive Kenneth Griffin, who recently said that the ultrawealthy have “insufficient influence.” He gave the super PAC $700,000.

2. As polling for the presidential race intensifies, two organizations are presenting daily tracking polls. One is Rasmussen, which has had a tendency to over-estimate Republican support. The other is Gallup, which this year has been producing poll results that are more pro-Romney on average.  (Interestingly, the USA Today/Gallup poll does not have that tendency.)

Mark Blumenthal shows how Gallup’s poll numbers compare to the overall poll average.

2012 election: Romney support

As Blumenthal notes, “Gallup’s estimate of Romney’s support in the surveys it has conducted has typically been 4 to 5 percentage points higher than the overall trend based on the aggregate of all polls.” Blumenthal is left with a mystery because, while the poll has a higher percentage of white voters than there were in the 2008 electorate, so do other polls with different poll numbers.

3. Americans Elect, an enterprise funded by very wealthy investment bankers to put a nonpartisan presidential candidate on the ballot, has been involved in its internet-based effort to pick their slate. The group says, “Americans Elect is the first nominating process that will be led directly by voters like YOU.” (The millions of Americans who have voted in primaries over many decades are evidently not voters like “YOU.”)

However, as a watchdog group focused on Americans Elect notes, participation has been lagging and the group is changing its rules to enable it to pick a candidate.

The rules seem to be set to enable them to pick an insider candidate, David Walker, who was the head of the independent agency, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), from 1998 to 2008. As AE Transparency writes:

So-called ‘contingently qualified’ candidates Anderson, Risley, and Kotlikoff require so many more votes than do so-called ‘automatically qualified’ candidates. . .

Walker’s required additional votes would be right up there with Anderson’s, Risley’s, and Kotlikoff’s impossibly huge numbers but for some AECorp insider funny-business we chronicled two weeks ago, in which AE stealthily moved Walker’s goalposts by summarily declaring him a “Former Head of a Federal Agency” (which he is not), thus making him an ‘automatically qualified’ candidate. We have recently begun filing complaints of ballot fraud with states’ Election Boards, citing this and other AECorp offenses. We’ll begin reporting on the progress of these complaints in the near future.

Two weeks ago we speculated that the David Walker goalpost shift might signal an emerging plan from Americans Elect’s penthouse to save itself, by bringing AECorp insider Walker on-board as a declared candidate and further arrange things to insure he wins the nomination (Walker is a wealth-friendly and safety-net-hostile agent operated by Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson). Very recent events continue to lend credence to this scenario. Last week AECorp National Campus Director, Nick Troiano, nominally resigned from Americans Elect to take the reins at The Committee To Get Walker Running, whose web site‘s domain name is owned by AE insider Solomon Kleinsmith.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.