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Will Michele Bachmann retirement save the GOP money? (+video)

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(Read caption) Michele Bachmann says she won't run for reelection
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Will Michele Bachmann’s impending retirement from the House save the Republican right wing money? That’s the interesting thesis David Freddoso offered at the blog Conservative Intelligence Briefing on Wednesday.

Mr. Freddoso says he thinks Ms. Bachmann is sincere about her political values, many of which he shares. But he adds that it’s a good thing for the GOP that conservative small donors now won’t be spending more than $10 million to reelect her to a safe Republican House seat every two years.

“Campaign money is a limited resource, and Michele Bachmann may hold a lifetime record for wasting it,” Freddoso writes.

It’s true that Bachmann has long been one of the most skilled fundraisers in US politics. She’s had to be, as her controversial and at times inaccurate statements on everything from the effect of vaccinations to John Wayne’s birthplace have sometimes helped her Democratic opponents in a Minnesota district that otherwise leans GOP.

She raised almost $15 million for her House race in 2012, for instance. (That’s separate from the $9 million she raised for her presidential bid.) She spent about $12 million of this cash to barely win reelection over Democratic opponent Jim Graves, who spent only $2.3 million.

“The race was the third most expensive in the House in 2012 in terms of funds raised as well as money spent,” notes Russ Choma at the Open Secrets campaign finance blog.

That’s been the pattern of Bachmann’s past races, too. In 2010 she spent $12 million to win 52 percent of the vote in a district that GOP presidential candidate John McCain won by nine percentage points.


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