The Post attributes the dampened fundraising to a lack of enthusiasm over a weak candidate field. If anything, it seems super PACs’ largely negative ads would help suppress overall enthusiasm for the race. The slower fundraising by the campaigns has, in turn, increased super PACs’ influence. As David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, told the Post, if super PACs were around in 2008, when campaign spending was high, they would have had less of an impact. In February 2008, the Obama campaign raised five times what Mitt Romney raised in February 2012, $57 million to $11.5 million. If the 2012 campaigns were raising at that clip, super PACs might not feel as compelled to spend as heavily.
Meanwhile, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll (pdf), seven in 10 Americans want to see an end to the Super PAC experiment.