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2012: Money for nothing?

“About one-third of Americans describe themselves as independent voters, creating a widespread impression that a large group of Americans will provide the decisive swing votes in this year’s election,” the New York Times writes. “But that impression is misleading, polling experts and political scientists say. Many self-described independents — close to half, according to surveys — reliably vote for one party or the other. And many true swing voters live in states, like California or Texas, where no analyst doubts the outcome in November. In spite of clichés about Nascar dads and Walmart moms, the actual share of voters nationally who are up for grabs is probably between just 3 percent and 5 percent in this election, polling experts say. The Obama and Romney campaigns are expected to spend on the order of $2 billion, in part to try to sway this tiny share of the electorate.”

First Read reported yesterday that ad spending has already topped $500 million.

A CNN two-day (Monday-Tuesday) poll finds Obama leading Romney in Wisconsin 49-45% after the pick of Paul Ryan.

USA Today asks: “Pennsylvania voters: Do not adjust your television sets. You live in a delegate-rich, politically purple state with a history of hard-fought presidential campaigns just like the one going on right now. So how come your TV isn't overrun with political ads?” It adds: “Pennsylvania's emergence as a keystone in the presidential race may have to wait until after the political conventions, when Romney is able to start spending money raised for the general election. Then Obama may have to respond in kind.”