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2012: The already billion-dollar campaign

USA Today: “Less than four months until Election Day, the battle for the White House already has crossed the $1 billion mark — as the presidential candidates, political parties and the two super PACs closely aligned with President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney race to collect political cash.”

“Democrats have found one bright spot in this campaign season's financial books: the fight for Congress,” the Wall Street Journal writes. “While the party worries about the fundraising prowess of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign, as well as the financial might of conservative super PACs, the Democrats' House campaign arm is ahead of its GOP counterpart.”

But, Roll Call writes: “The National Republican Congressional Committee narrowly outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in June. The NRCC posted $10.7 million in receipts compared with the DCCC’s $10.5 million. The NRCC ended June with $41 million in cash on hand while the DCCC had $33.2 million in the bank at the end of last month.”

Analyzing recent polls, including the NBC/WSJ survey, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein looks at the undecided voters, and he finds that they don’t like either Obama or Romney. “Both President Obama and Mitt Romney are facing resoundingly negative attitudes among the small share of uncommitted voters who could tip their battle for the White House…  It’s not unusual for most undecided voters to hold negative views about an incumbent; it is unusual for undecided voters to simultaneously express negative attitudes about the challenger. In most respects, undecided voters displayed more favorable attitudes toward their choices in both the 2004 and 2008 races, polls at the time found. ‘One might think that undecided voters would typically be down on both candidates,’ says Michael Dimock, associate director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. ‘That makes 2012 stand out all the more, perhaps reflecting the bad economic conditions.’”

And John Harwood writes about his own appearance (and the appearance of other journalists) in TV ads.