Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential front-runner and former Massachusetts governor, claims to have raised nearly $20 million for his campaign in the second quarter.
Romney's $20 million haul includes an impressive $10 million raised in a single day at a Las Vegas fundraiser in May.
Another good piece of news is that a super PAC established by prominent Mitt Romney backers called Restore Our Future, PAC is reporting that they raised $12 Million:
Restore Our Future, the outside spending group founded by supporters of Romney's presidential campaign, said it had raised $12 million by the end of June, and has $12 million in cash on hand. While the group has existed formally since last fall, it launched its efforts in essence just late last month.
"There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney," said the group's treasurer, Charlie Spies, who served as Romney's general counsel in 2008. "President Obama has taken our nation down the wrong road with out-of-control government spending that has produced no real results. Voters are fed up. Americans are coming out in support of Gov. Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around."
The purpose of the Restore Our Future PAC is to combat Obama's own super PAC:
The group aims to go head-to-head with Priorities USA Action, a similar super PAC led by former White House aides in support of President Obama. But Restore Our Future PAC could be used to go after other Republicans if necessary in the party’s primary season, those familiar with the operation said.
Yet, this isn't the only super PAC for Obama. He has not one, but two super PACs, for the 2012 election. The fact that he is willing to use these PACs is hypocritical in light of his false criticism of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizen United v. FEC.
Obama's two super PACs, Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action will be formidable groups who will rely on undisclosed donors as well as corporations and unions as sources of funding to help reelect Obama. This isn't the first time that Obama has used PACs since he used them during the 2008 Presidential elections as well.
Its clear that Mitt Romney fully intends to wage a campaign fundraising war against Obama's hypocritical fundrasing machine since he plans to raise at least $60 million for the 2012 election but might end up spending at least a billion to get himself reelected.
While Mitt Romney has an ambitious goal to defeat Barak Obama both in campaign funds and at the ballot box, other candidates have less ambitious goals of surviving the Republican primaries or have set their sights even lower by seeing if they can stay surviving at all:
For all the candidates not named Romney, the question is: “Do they raise enough to remain viable in the eyes of the press and in terms of mounting an on-the-ground campaign in caucus states and a media campaign in primary states?” says Stephen Wayne, a political scientist at Georgetown University in Washington.
Already, he says, some could have trouble meeting that threshold. At the top of that list is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who lost most of his campaign staff, including his fundraisers, earlier this month over his unconventional approach (e.g., not a lot of travel to early states). The campaign-finance reports, which require disclosures on expenses, could show Mr. Gingrich’s campaign in the red.
Also in potentially questionable territory, financially, are former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Mr. Pawlenty entered the race with high expectations as a two-term governor who was on John McCain’s shortlist for a running mate during the 2008 campaign. But he has yet to catch on in polls, and without buzz, it can be difficult to attract donors.
Other candidates are also struggling to stay alive for th e2012 election which really hasn't even begun yet. Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul haven't released their second quarter numbers yet but they both will mostly likely have raised approximately $5 million. Herman Cain has raised a paltry $2.46 million and seems to be following the same trajectory as Newt Gingrich by losing staff members:
Herman Cain’s Iowa Director, Tina Goff, told TheIowaRepublican.com that she has submitted her resignation and is no longer working for the campaign. In addition to Goff’s resignation, TheIowaRepublican.com can confirm that Kevin Hall has also left the campaign. Hall served as Cain’s Straw Poll coordinator.
Goff and Hall both worked on Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign in 2008 and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s campaign in 2010. Goff stated that she resigned because the Cain campaign refused to make a serious effort in Iowa, the home of the First-in-the-Nation caucuses.
With just 43 days to the Iowa Straw Poll, Cain’s campaign here in Iowa and nationally seems to be unraveling. Cain lost his New Hampshire director, Matt Murphy, who was his only staffer in that state, earlier this week. Jim Zeiler, a Cain regional director who had been to Iowa and was helping with the campaign’s Straw Poll plans, has also left the campaign.
When you look at all the money raised for the second quarter of 2011, it is actually smaller than the total amount in the second quarter of 2007 prior to the 2008 election:
The total amount raised by all the candidates looks to be much smaller than in 2007, when the top three candidates alone (Romney, Sen. John McCain, and former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani) raised a combined $53 million in the second quarter. In conversations with the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, Republican operatives said the weak numbers were due to a weak economy. Also, the race has gotten off to a slow start, and with so much uncertainty about who might enter the race, potential donors may be reluctant to commit to a candidate.
While Mitt Romney had a great day as far as campaign finance goal and has set the yardstick to measure the performance of the other Republican candidates, it is important to remember that the total amount that each of them has raised for the 2nd quarter will not match the amount that Obama will have raised:
Obama doesn’t have a primary challenge, so he’s cashing up for the general election. His campaign has put out an expectation that between the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, they will take in a combined $60 million. Four years ago, in the second quarter of 2007, the Obama campaign raised $31 million.
As the election continues to heat up, the question for the primaries be which candidate has the financial and political ability to defeat Barak Obama in 2012? The answer to that question is Mitt Romney.
If you would like to help Mitt Romney defeat Barak Obama, I have set up a donation page in which you can contribute to his campaign.
This article has been cross posted from Conservative Samizdat.
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