Inside the Beltway

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The presidential campaign may be annoying, but it can boost the economy in all 50 states, says a new analysis from the Atlantic based on figures from President Obama’s 2008 campaign, the Center for Responsive Politics and interviews with vendors, demonstrating how “one campaign might choose to spread most of its cash around.”

The typical high-money candidate spends $435 million on advertising, the magazine says, a figure that includes $225 million to fund those mysterious “media strategy” firms, $8 million for campaign signs and $16,000 for temporary tattoos for fans.

Candidates spend $65 million paying staffers, from lowly field organizers to campaign managers, who can command $100,000 a year. Another $61 million goes to travel costs, mostly airfares, though rental cars and the proverbial $1,000-a-day motorcade are also pricey. An additional $54 million covers operations, from campaign headquarters to food and furniture.

And party time? White House hopefuls can fork out $34 million on events; consider that deluxe flushable porta-potties cost $2,000 a day while a single rental for a jumbo 30- by 40-foot Americans flag as a patriotic backdrop rings up at $1,000. And one has to spend money to make money. The candidates also drop $30 million on fund-raising efforts, from mailers to robo-calls. Last, but not least, polling costs them $28 million spread among specialized pollsters.

POLL DU JOUR

• 28 percent of Republican voters say an endorsement by former President George W. Bush would make them “more likely” to vote for the candidate.

• 59 percent say it would make “no difference,” 11 percent say it would make them “less likely” to vote for the candidate.

• 23 percent say an endorsement by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would make them more likely to vote for the candidate.

• 61 percent say it would make no difference; 15 percent say it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.

• 22 percent say an endorsement by their minister, priest or rabbi would make them more likely to vote for the candidate.

• 70 percent say it would make no difference; 6 percent say it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.

• 13 percent say an endorsement by their local newspaper would make them more likely to vote for the candidate.

• 73 percent say it would make no difference; 13 percent say it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 6-8; the sample included 265 Republicans.

Caterwauls, happy press releases, spare comments to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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