With the third quarter coming to a close, observers of the Republican presidential campaign await the official data on fundraising efforts during the three-month period. The big issue is whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised more than fellow front-runner Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, Politico
Knowledgeable Republicans figure both are taking in more than $10 million. For other candidates, the numbers will give a feel as to the strength of their bids. Here is how Politico assesses the situation for six of the candidates.
His financial report will be watched more closely than any other GOP candidate, Politico says. Perry didn’t join the race until halfway through the quarter, so he didn’t have as much time to garner money as his competitors. But he was able to draw funds from his copious Texas donor list. One bundler said the third-quarter figure could be as high as $15 million.
After disappointing performances in the last two debates, Perry could use a big number to show his campaign remains powerful. Republicans in Washington and New York say Perry must mine as much money as he can from Texas, because he’s not doing so well in those two cities, where big donors are reluctant to jump on board for someone who’s not a certain winner.
Romney creamed the competition last quarter, with an $18 million total. But a knowledgeable source said there’s “no way” he’s reaching that total this time around. After spending tens of millions of his own money in his failed 2008 campaign, Romney has made clear he wants more of other people’s money this time around. So he didn’t put any of his own funds into the campaign kitty this quarter, a campaign official said.
The Romney campaign is hoping that his impressive performance in last week’s debate will draw donors. Sources say Romney’s fundraising effort has done well in Florida and California this quarter, but not as well in New York.
Knowledgeable sources said she has serious money woes, with one calling them “dire.” Another said she will gain less than the $4 million she put in the bank during the second quarter -- $2 million from of it from small contributions in less than six weeks, and $2 million from the Minnesota representative’s congressional account.
Sources say donations from the Internet have waned, forcing Bachmann to rely on direct mail appeals, which are expensive. Rumors have arisen that the campaign has gone into debt, but one campaign source said that’s not true. Bachmann hasn’t been able to draw much money from big-time donors and bundlers.
His situation is more difficult to determine, because the former Utah governor didn’t enter the race until late June and thus didn’t file a fundraising report for the second quarter. But he has put his own money into the campaign twice. The first time it was less than $2 million, his aides said. And the second time was $500,000.
His total for the third quarter will be much less than $10 million, reflecting his weak position in polls, knowledgeable sources said. He’s also expected to show debt, unless he pays it off with his own money.
The Texas congressman has been able to attract a regular cash stream from the Internet. A campaign staffer said the third-quarter number may reach as high as $5 million.
The former Pennsylvania senator isn’t having much success on the fundraising front. He told Politico last week that he would raise “less than $1 million” this quarter.
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