Monday, October 17, 2011

The Money Game in GOP Presidential Politics

Perry and Romney still FAR ahead of rivals!

Last week, all the major GOP candidates reported their quarterly fundraising results. Pay special attention to how much cash on hand each candidate has and any debt. The mad dash for Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina begins in a few months and money talks!

Candidate links are to individual stories on CNN about that candidates fundraising/spending.

NOTE:Reports cover the quarter which ended September 30 and do not include more recent contributions:
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY
Raised: $17,200,232.07
Spent: $2,121,816.85
Cash on hand: $15,078,415.22
Debts: $339,119.73

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY
Raised: $14,222,570.66
Spent: $12,281,100.24
Cash on hand: $14,656,965.83
Debts: $0.00

FORMER GODFATHER'S PIZZA CEO HERMAN CAIN
Raised: $2,813,341.52
Spent: $1,967,152.00
Cash on hand: $1,333,778.56
Debts: $675,000.00

FORMER UTAH GOV. JON HUNTSMAN
Raised: $4,514,188.95
Spent: $4,186,574.45
Cash on hand: $327,614.50
Debts: $3,145,593.75

FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SEN. RICK SANTORUM
Raised: $704,199.37
Spent: $743,757.29
Cash on hand: $189,556.94
Debts: $71,866.19

TEXAS REP. RON PAUL

Raised: $8,268,499.92
Spent: $7,559,908.76
Cash on hand: $3,674,768.16
Debts: $0.00

FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH
Raised: $807,962.45
Spent: $776,767.90
Cash on hand: $353,416.71
Debts: $1,192,865.82

MINNESOTA REP. MICHELE BACHMANN
Raised: $3,907,748.06
Spent: $5,947,630.95
Cash on hand: $1,339,184.10
Debts: $549,604.07
For those who want to tweak the numbers a bit further, the Washington Post offers a handy tool to compare the fundraising of two candidates side by side in graphic format. I compared Romney and Perry. If you do the same you'll note that Romney has raised over $32 million compared to Perry's $17 million but he's already spent $18 million and he can't seem to raise his national polling numbers above 30%. Note also that Romney's haul has declined slightly as he has maxed out a number of larger donors (limit is $2,500 for each election cycle primary and general). Perry too has a large number of max contributions and both men will need to go back to the smaller contributors and ask for more.

If you select Herman Cain, you'll see that most of his donations come from the smaller donors. He'll need to get a lot more of those or start scoring the big donors if he wants to have the money needed to compete with Romney and Perry as the we get nearer to the actual voting. As noted above, the reporting period ended September 30 and thus does not cover the last two weeks during which Cain has surged.

The same goes for all the other candidates. Money determines how many staff you can hire and how many ads you can run on television. Up to now, debates have been the primary focus of the campaign but that will soon change.

The bottom line? Unless Cain or one of the others behind in the pack is able to pull of a big win in Iowa and start raking in big bucks the contest will remain largely a two man race between Romney and Perry and as of now Perry is the only candidate who has the financial resources to be the alternative to Romney!

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