Romney, Pawlenty Jockey for Donor Edge

Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 03:51 PM

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GOP presidential contenders are fighting to secure the backing of deep-pocket donors in a still unsettled 2012 field. Candidates, such as former Govs. Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, are trying to secure the backing of the donors while holding off emerging rivals, sources tell The Washington Post.

The developments come in the wake of announcements from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that they would not seek the nomination. Romney and Pawlenty have runs at donors who had been expected to support Daniels.

Romney and Pawlenty hope to discourage a new wave of nominees by locking up the money and by showing that their fundraising skills match those of President Barack Obama, who raised $750 million in 2008, the Post reported.

The shape of the money race will remain unclear until July, when the first major disclosure reports are due.

Many of the GOP donors still are sitting on the sidelines, unsatisfied with the crop of candidates. “A lot of us are disappointed that it’s not a Haley or a Mitch,” one Republican fundraiser from California told the Post. “We don’t need a flashy candidate to beat Obama. We need someone who is plain, simple-talking, and maybe that’s Pawlenty.”

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