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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The X Factor: 527's in Election 2008

The most unpredictable part of this campaign is definitely going to be the behavior of so called 527's and their effect on the race. Now, some conventional wisdom has it that the Soros dominated 527's should have a decided advantage throughout the campaign. After all, many believe that Soros was the puppetteer behind Campaign Finance Reform and the proliferation of the 527's is all part of his master plan. Furthermore, he is willing to spend whatever it takes to damage McCain.

Still, in 2004, he spent an obscene amount and one right leaning 527, the SBVT, was able to affect the election in a way his entire effort never could. So far, I have not been impressed with the work his groups have come up with, however I will let the audience decide.

Now, if this is the sort of product that Soros sponsored 527's will bring this time around, then in my opinion, he hasn't learned anything from 2004.

527's sympathetic to the Republicans have an eclectic and formidable line up. On prominent 527 from which we will here plenty from this year is Freedom's Watch. You should see plenty and so far they have shown a knack for variety but here is one...

So far, by far the most controversial ad from a 527 was a Republican leaning ad that attacked Obama as weak on crime. (the embedding was disabled so you will have to click here to see the ad)

In fact, my favorite political ad over the last couple years was this one by the the group Republican Jewish Coalition (for full disclosure I joined the group after seeing it)

A lot of people are bemoaning the proliferation of so called 527's however they are a reality. While their shadowy nature will likely attract much of the most gutter political thought, we should also recognize that the niche has gone through an evolution over the last couple years. While it will carry more than its share of filth, we should recognize that the structure allows for bold, innovative, and daring commentary as well. I expect that we will see some of that as well.

It is totally unclear who will benefit and who will get hurt, however their role in the election cycle is its biggest X factor.

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