The Upshot

Democrats plot outside ad spending in 2012

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

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During the 2008 campaign, President Obama disavowed spending by outside political groups to boost his campaign. But with certain outside conservative groups -- dubbed by critics the shadow GOP -- already planning to spend millions on ads to undermine Obama's re-election bid, White House officials have signaled to Democratic donors  that Obama wouldn't be opposed to allies running their own outside ads in 2012.

As Politico's Ken Vogel reports Thursday, liberal donors will gather in Washington next week to hash out a 2012 game plan. But there's some skepticism among Democrats about how much money donors will be willing to put up for ad assaults in 2012. Some big donors are still hurting over the millions they'd spent on similar campaigns to defeat Bush and the GOP in 2004, without much success.

The question among some Democratic activists is whether 2012 money would be better invested in the ground game and other non-advertising efforts.

Still, at least one prominent Democrat is already planning a pro-Obama 527 political committee. As the Plum Line's Greg Sargent first reported, Media Matters founder David Brock has been pitching the group to Democratic donors. Not unlike the Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the group would reportedly only partially disclose its donors and would not face any contribution limits.

Media Matters hasn't commented on the report.

(Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

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