The Democrats' normal stable of megadonors has largely failed to show up for the 2010 race, while their Republican counterparts are going wild, the New York Times reports. Even reliable donors like George Soros are sitting on their wallets—Soros “believes that he can be most effective by funding groups that promote progressive policy outcomes,” according to an adviser. The result? Conservative outside groups are outspending their liberal rivals by seven to one.
Part of their reluctance to spend no doubt stems from pessimism about Democratic prospects. But part of it is also due to Barack Obama’s condemnation of such independent spending during and after his 2008 campaign. Republicans have also gotten a huge boost from corporate cash thanks to the Citizens United ruling. “We’re concerned about it,” says DNC chair Tim Kaine. “Would it be easier with institutional money? Sure would be.” (Read more George Soros stories.)