A central strength most pundits (including this one) have cited when describing Mitt Romney as the Republican front-runner is money: He has it, his opponents do not.
The 20 days leading up to Super Tuesday will show whether we were right. Romney and a super PAC that backs his campaign are about to embark on an all-out television blitz aimed at tearing down Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, an assault that already adds up to more than $5 million in key primary states -- and there are few signs either of Romney's rivals have the financial ability to respond.
Ad buy data we've obtained from sources keeping an eye on the race show both Romney's campaign and Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, are buying much more television time than previously thought. Restore Our Future will spend a total of $1.25 million in Michigan in the two weeks leading up to the state's February 28 primary; Romney's campaign is augmenting that with $617,000 in Michigan ads this week, though they haven't bought time next week yet.
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