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No Vacancy: The Web Is About to Run Out of Room for Political Ads

Aug 2, 2012, 11:13 am EDT

The Internet may seem like a vast, almost infinite galaxy of cute cat pictures, Facebook messages, and breaking news. In one area of the Internet, though, space is at a premium.

What area is that? Political advertising. More specifically, political advertising tacked onto videos from certain web sites.

Why is there limited space for political ads on YouTube and its video brethren? It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Demand for video ads, which typically run for 15 or 30 seconds before the video a user actually wants to see is shown, is higher than supply. In particular, these sites let advertisers buy spots that target users by zip code or category. That means ads aimed at users in swing states, or for users interested in news and politics, are harder to come by. Read 

Obama Donates to His Campaign

Aug 1, 2012, 10:52 am EDT
Obama Donates to His Campaign

President Barack Obama is putting his money where his mouth is, donating $5,000 to his own campaign.

His reason for the donation? He wants to point out the financial disparity between his campaign and Mitt Romney’s. In an e-mail to supporters released yesterday, he had the following to say:

“On its own, what I gave won’t be enough to surmount the unprecedented fundraising we’ve seen on the other side, both from our opponent’s campaign and from the outside groups and special interests supporting him. But we have always believed that there’s nothing we can’t do when we all pitch in. That includes me.” Read 

Mitt Romney Has a Math Problem

Jul 30, 2012, 11:37 am EDT
Mitt Romney Has a Math Problem

Mitt Romney has a problem.

The electoral map — which provides a natural advantage to Democrats by virtue of the higher number of electoral votes in the blue coastal states — has put Romney in a position where he has to win virtually every swing state to win the election.

President Barack Obama, in contrast, has a much easier path. Read 

Commerce Department Signs Off On Wind Tower Tariffs

Jul 30, 2012, 10:05 am EDT

American companies looking to invest in wind power — and the turbines that power it — may want to look within their borders for towers.

That’s because the Commerce Department has announced a series of tariffs on wind towers made in China and Vietnam that are aimed at preventing the two countries from dumping their turbines on the U.S. and undercutting U.S. manufacturers.

China faces duties ranging from 20.85% to 72.69%, while Vietnam faces a tariff between 52.67% and 59.91%. Added on to other tariffs that the U.S. levies, this means that some Chinese wind turbines could face a nearly 100% tariff. Read 

Business Owners Turning On Obama

Jul 26, 2012, 1:15 pm EDT
Business Owners Turning On Obama

In the wake of fierce attacks from Mitt Romney over his “you didn’t build that” comments, Barack Obama is finding it harder and harder to get business owners on his side.

The latest proof? A Gallup poll recently showed that 59% of business owners disapproved of the job Obama was doing. Only 35% of business owners approved.

That’s a 6% drop from the first quarter of this year, where 41% of business owners supported Obama. In even worse news for the president, this poll was taken before his comments on July 13, where he extolled how other people — and government — assisted people with their lives, saying “…If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” His approval ratings with business owners could decrease further once fallout from those comments are factored into polls. Read 

Million-dollar Donors Account For Most of Super PAC Money

Jul 25, 2012, 5:13 pm EDT

As few as four dozen donors and families could sway the election this fall. Who are these people? They’re the ones who have given at least $1 million to a super PAC thus far.

So far, $308 million has been raised by super PACs in this election cycle. Of that money, $130 million comes from donors giving $1 million or more, which is about 40% of the total given. This is even more pronounced on the GOP side, where nearly half of the $228 million raised by Republican-affiliated super PACs has come from $1 million-plus donations.

Who are the most generous givers right now? It probably comes as no surprise, given the way Barack Obama’s super PAC has lagged behind Mitt Romney’s, that they are all Republican supporters. Currently leading the way are Sheldon and Miriam Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) with a $34.75 million donation, Contran Corporation’s Harold and Annette Simmons with a $17.2 million donation from them and Contran, Houston home builder Bob Perry with a $10.35 million donation, and PayPal (now an eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) subsidiary) co-founder Peter Thiel with a $3.6 million donation. Read 

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