The current presidential election campaign, more than usual, will be covered in news accounts long after the outcome is known. That is because of hidden currents of political activity that we only vaguely glimpse now.
Among the hidden persuaders of 2012's campaign are Ben Bernanke's gunning the money supply by $40 billion a month and the President's goosing of defense expenditures in this quarter by untold amounts, providing on both accounts an added temporary boost to employment. That helps the Obama campaign.
On the other side, there has been very little attention paid to the TV energy ads being run by oil, gas and coal companies. These are helping the Romney campaign. Most prominent are the "vote4energy" spots.
The energy ads started out by remarking on the many positive benefits of traditional energy and all the people employed in these industries. "I'm an energy voter," they said. Then, later, another ad (by coal interests) actually mentioned the Obama Administration as an impediment to energy production and, without mentioning the political alternative by name, encouraged people to vote their convictions about energy issues in the coming election.
It seems to me that these ads would have crossed the line into outright political ads if they had urged a vote for Romney or a vote against Obama. As is, they probably are just as effective in the end. How much did this pro-energy ad campaign cost? Millions, of course, but how much we have no way of knowing--yet.
Another lavishly funded ad campaign is the private effort by Thomas Peterffy, a billionaire Hungarian immigrant who doesn't seem to have had any major public exposure heretofore. But his personal account of the dangers of "socialism" in Hungary and his declaration that he thinks America is on that path will have some unknown impact on the public nationally, quite apart from official ad campaigns of the parties or the PACs.