Is Romney’s campaign running out of money?

posted at 8:53 pm on February 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’m skeptical, especially if you count his Super PAC as part of his campaign. (And who doesn’t?) But the basic logic makes sense. If you depend heavily on a small-ish base of wealthy donors who are capped by law on how much they can give, then you’d better win early to grow that base before they’re all tapped out. If Santorum bumps him off in Michigan and Romney underperforms on Super Tuesday, it suddenly gets much harder for Mitt to lure big money with the promise of access to the eventual nominee.

Romney has proved unable to tap into the emotion-drived small-dollar contributions that helped power Barack Obama in 2008, and which fueled even his more Establishment rival, Hillary Clinton, this time four years ago when she too began to run out of big donors. The result: Republican fundraisers say that despite his success so far, they think Romney is fast approaching a wall, and that he will likely be forced to pay for the campaign out of his own deep pockets…

Over 82 percent of Romney’s haul from individuals in 2011 came in donations greater than $1000 —which doesn’t even include the larger donations to the SuperPAC that supports him, Restore Our Future. And as Rick Santorum stays in the game with a growing pool of small donors — to whom he can return for another $20 or $100 when the millions they’ve given him runs out — Romney’s campaign has launched an intense, late scramble for the cash to fend off his conservative challenger…

Three Republicans who work closely with Romney’s bundlers said they had begun to shift their focus away from the presidential campaign entirely.

“All the low-hanging fruit has been picked,” said a top New York finance industry donor and fundraiser who is currently neutral in the race and described Romney as “a Republican John Kerry running Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Follow the link for six different reasons why he’s having trouble. The obligatory caveat: Stories like this are self-fulfilling prophesies insofar as the worse the news gets for Romney, the more skittish his donors are likely to become about ponying up. It’d be easy for mischievous Republicans inclined towards Santorum or Gingrich to plant an extra seed of doubt in the media by pushing an angle like this — which is not to say that’s what’s going on here, but merely that it’s possibility. The big wrinkle in the narrative is that Romney’s donors can, of course, give unlimited amounts to his Super PAC, which is doing most of the heavy lifting for him anyway. His whole campaign is an exercise in making his opponents seem just a little bit worse/less electable than he is, and it’s the Super PAC and its negative ads that are chiefly responsible for doing that. As long as he’s got rich friends willing to give millions to Restore Our Future, he should be okay, and the richer and more generous they are, the fewer of them he needs. In fact, according to the WSJ, Newt’s billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson might end up cutting Romney a check purely in the interest of stopping Santorum. Evidently he thinks RS is too socially conservative; doubtless many libertarian-minded conservatives agree. If Santorum cements his status as a genuine threat for the nomination with a few more wins, Romney should get some new support from those voters plus donors who fear that RS can’t win the general election and needs to be stopped now. (See, e.g., the conservative media reaction to Gingrich after he won South Carolina.) In other words, the newly anointed “Not Romney” will turn Mitt into “Not Santorum” and then we’ll have a fight all the way to Tampa over which of these two candidates Republicans dislike least. Just like we’ve always dreamed.

Here’s Romney on “Fox & Friends” this morning feigning puzzlement as to why Palin would doubt his true-blue conservatism. “Living life tends to make you more conservative,” he says. Philip Klein’s response: “So he started ‘living’ at age 58?” Click the image to watch.


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Running out of money?

Probably not.

Steam?

Definitely.

Fallon on February 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

but I want that fu*ker soundly drubbed.

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I love you brother.
This nation is in deep trouble unless millions get their head out of wherever.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

*hitches thumbs in overall straps*
“Arnol’! Turn off that television set!”

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Move the decimal point to the left one and you have Biden’s charitable donations.

Santorum shoving his morals down our thoats?! Excuse me did he ever tell the American people to “put some skin in the game” or was that Joe Biden shoving his hypocrite Liberal morals down our throats?

cubbieblue25 on February 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

No, what I mean is what Rush says. Conservatism, properly articulated, would put obama away in a landslide. Romney talking about how obama is a nice man but in over his head may allow him to squeak by, but I want that fu*ker soundly drubbed.
Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I wince at the “he’s a nice man, but” line too. But Rush (like Palin) has no record as a strategist. If I wanted advice I’d go to Karl Rove. This is the situation: 50% of the country are dumb and gullible enough to think Obama’s the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being they’ve ever known in their life. That’s what we’re up against.

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I dunno, but it seems to me that a good businessman wouldn’t have to spend so much money per vote. There’s so much that he could do to drive that cost per vote downward, but he doesn’t.

Not a smart man. At least not as smart as advertised.

beatcanvas on February 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

No, it is not 50% In the 40s, but not 50%.

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

OT…

I saw you mention “The Kite Runner” the other day. I think you would like this very much. Finding Nouf Good story, great cultural stuff regarding women in Saudi Arabia. There’s also a 2nd book and a 3rd coming out this spring.

JPeterman on February 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Move the decimal point to the left one and you have Biden’s charitable donations.

Santorum shoving his morals down our thoats?! Excuse me did he ever tell the American people to “put some skin in the game” or was that Joe Biden shoving his hypocrite Liberal morals down our throats?

cubbieblue25 on February 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Double it and add some and that is what Obama gives. Then times it by three and that what Romney gives. See what I did there? Santorum is a populist that loves big government and forcing his moral views on society as a whole. This is why he won’t get elected in the General, but who cares about that when we gotz ta defeatz teh evilz r0mn3yzzz!!!

ArkyDore on February 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Do you think Santorum knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?

JPeterman on February 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

No, but Elvis does. ;-)

TXUS on February 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I wince at the “he’s a nice man, but” line too. But Rush (like Palin) has no record as a strategist. If I wanted advice I’d go to Karl Rove. This is the situation: 50% of the country are dumb and gullible enough to think Obama’s the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being they’ve ever known in their life. That’s what we’re up against.

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM

In another world I might agree with you. How effective was that candy ass, pasty face Rove in protecting Bush? The “architect”—of what doom?
How about when Rove himself was under attack? Most of us after getting nut kicked say “let’s try plan B”.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Romney has proved unable to tap into the emotion-drived small-dollar contributions that helped power Barack Obama in 2008,

You all in the Nitt corner aren’t sending him $$? You cheap bassets!
Come on guys..

katy the mean old lady on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

No, it is not 50% In the 40s, but not 50%.
Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM

It depends on the week and what goodies he’s given away. This week it was freeeeeee birth control. That’s irresistible apparently. No more $5.00 copays! Weeeeee! They can buy a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino! Their life is complete!

Honk if my son is paying for your daughter’s birth control.

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

she is.

rich801 on February 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM

yet you take the time and energy to post. she brings on the liberal elitist in you. doesn’t she. LOL!

OMG I LUV BEING A PALINISTA!!!!!!

renalin on February 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

No more $5.00 copays! Weeeeee! They can buy a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino! Their life is complete!

Honk if my son is paying for your daughter’s birth control.

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

They wanted to increase the co-pay at our county hospital a few years ago to $7.50 and you should have heard the wailing of the banshees.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Finding Nouf Good story, great cultural stuff regarding women in Saudi Arabia. There’s also a 2nd book and a 3rd coming out this spring.
JPeterman on February 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Thanks! Sounds v.g. Have you read the n.f. “Stolen Lives”?

They wanted to increase the co-pay at our county hospital a few years ago to $7.50 and you should have heard the wailing of the banshees.
arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

For patients or employees? Not that it matters all that much…

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:39 PM

I have the same concerns. Did you know he was also in Dallas on November 22, 1963? On the grassy knoll. Check it out. I, too, am very suspicious.

did you even look at the returns-there are more business and income schedules than you can shake a stick at. is Santorum a tax attorney-if he is knowledgable enough-by doing them yourself you can hide things and do things that you can’t do with outside auditors and tax preparers

gerrym51 on February 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM
Thanks for the data, canopfor

Doomberg on February 15, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Doomberg:Anytime!!

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Honk if my son is paying for your daughter’s birth control.

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Trust me. The only people that that appeals to are all obama voters to begin with.

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM

You seen Drywall lately?

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Thanks! Sounds v.g. Have you read the n.f. “Stolen Lives”?
Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:39 PM

No, I haven’t read that one, but thanks for the tip. The gal who wrote “Finding Nouf” was married to a Saudi, moved there with him and escaped with her life.

JPeterman on February 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

For patients or employees? Not that it matters all that much…

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 10:39 PM

For patients—-you know, the kind that drive up in a big bling SUV with nice nails.

The employees? They want to cut their benefits back by 30% but two years in a row the county has “found” in excess of ten million they didn’t know they had. My wife works there and we both hate the bleeping SEIU but the county is just as bad in their own way.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Why would anyone think Mitt is a conservative. This time I agree with Palin. Ten years ago which is not that long, Mr. Mitt was running for Governor of MA on a pro-choice agenda telling them they had nothing to fear from him. Ten years later he is running on a scored earth nothing to fear from him as he is a conservative.

I have swamp land for sale in the Phoenix area if you believe Mitt is a conservative deep down. Man has no conservative core values and will say anything to get elected as he has been proving.

How can trust anyone know how he would govern when you cannot trust what he says from one day to the next sometimes. I will pass on the ‘severely’ conservative who kept asking for earmarks from the MA delegation when he was Governor.

Small donors will never donate to the wealthy Romney after his scorched earth policy against fellow conservatives. Let him fund his own campaign. Actually he can fund the convention to because I am one of those donors who have told the RNC to get lost after they were in charge of all the debates and we had all the liberal moderators to help Romney. RNC is NOT an honest broker and neither is Romney. He runs his campaign like he did Bain — fine the weakest link, exploit it, and then take out the candidate or anyone in his way.

Still cannot believe not more has been made of the fact he had the hard drives destroyed from when he was Governor. What would he do behind the scenes as President? How about if a conservative member of Congress didn’t agree with him? Is going to do scorched earth against them as well.

People better think long and hard before they mark their ballots for the flip flopper who is on a mission to seek and destroy anyone in his way.

PhiKapMom on February 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

You seen Drywall lately?

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM

He is on another secret military mission after resigning from Parliament.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

For patients—-you know, the kind that drive up in a big bling SUV with nice nails.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Ah. Why am I not surprised that you faced such vitriol for such a tiny increase in fees?

You have my sympathies; my city is suffering badly from exactly the same kind of people.

MelonCollie on February 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM

JPeterman on February 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Stolen Lives takes place in Morocco. Same old same old.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Ah, so they need the $7.50 to tip their manicurist. What state do you live in?

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

What state do you live in?

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Pretty much a state of confusion—CA central valley.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Your post reminded me of a friend who said their town council kept trying to demolish some ratty old buildings by one of their two welfare offices, and kept getting hellfire and damnation every time.

The city elders hired a detective to do some investigating, and he came back with a surprising answer: the ‘businesses’ in the buildings basically existed off of misspent welfare funds. Everything from the hair salon to the “grocery store” (a booze & tobacco joint in a paper-thin disguise) was built around the cycle welfare checks/stamps were issued.

MelonCollie on February 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Pretty much a state of confusion—CA central valley.
arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I figured as much because the SEIU rules CA. The description of the clients threw me a bit. Sounds like some of my neighbors in GA.

Everything from the hair salon to the “grocery store” (a booze & tobacco joint in a paper-thin disguise) was built around the cycle welfare checks/stamps were issued.
MelonCollie on February 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM

The eagle flies on Friday!

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM

The eagle flies on Friday!

Buy Danish on February 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM

LOL, you’re not gonna believe this, but one of the codes was:

“What’s the word?”

“Thunderbird!”

To most people, it sounded like just old bum-speak. Gotta give credit to whoever researched that one.

MelonCollie on February 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM

“So he started ‘living’ at age 58?”

Really? What a stupid comment. Whether you like Romney or not, like his politics or not, he has lived a life of Conservative values: Faith, family, Free market success.

Don’t vote for him if he is not your cup of tea but do not confuse people who speak Conservatively but live in opposition to those principles with those that actually live them.

The Opinionator on February 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Don’t vote for him if he is not your cup of tea but do not confuse people who speak Conservatively but live in opposition to those principles with those that actually live them.

The Opinionator on February 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Okay, I’ll bite. He’s lived his life conservatively. Has he tried to move the goal posts in that direction since he has been in politics? If you are in a position to influence the country than act on it. He was my alternative to McCain in 08. Saying “Obama is a nice man” don’t work no more.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM

I saw that interview with Romney at the gym this morning. He was telling the Fox crew how neither he nor “his people” had run any anti-Santorum ads.

At the exact same time that he was saying this, on the big gym screen showing MSNBC, they were showing an anti-Santorum attack ad paid for by Restore Our Future. I lol’d.

The man’s ability to lie with a straight face is astonishing. I can’t stand him.

(For the record, I support Newt and I don’t care if Romney bashes Santorum all day long, but the moment was priceless.)

29Victor on February 16, 2012 at 12:48 AM

The man’s ability to lie with a straight face is astonishing. I can’t stand him.

29Victor on February 16, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Ken Dolls keep a straight face.

Is your call sign your military MOS or the Sukhoi airplane or something else?

arnold ziffel on February 16, 2012 at 1:08 AM

29Victor on February 16, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Those aren’t his people.

I don’t much care for people who lie on Hot Air forums either.

scotash on February 16, 2012 at 2:01 AM

“All the low-hanging fruit has been picked,” said a top New York finance industry donor and fundraiser who is currently neutral in the race and described Romney as “a Republican John Kerry running Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Ouch! I mostly agree with that, and I still feel bad for Romney.

tom on February 16, 2012 at 6:41 AM

You all in the Nitt corner aren’t sending him $$? You cheap bassets!
Come on guys..

katy the mean old lady on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

lol..I was thinking something similar about the Romneyites. If they spent as much time writing checks to Romney’s campaign as they do in their numerous endorsements on HA, Romney could add another 100 million to his sons trust accounts.

DevilsPrinciple on February 16, 2012 at 6:43 AM

did you even look at the returns-there are more business and income schedules than you can shake a stick at. is Santorum a tax attorney-if he is knowledgable enough-by doing them yourself you can hide things and do things that you can’t do with outside auditors and tax preparers

gerrym51 on February 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM

I don’t know what you hope to gather by raising these suspicions. It’s not like he’s even required to release tax returns, so there’s not a lot of motive for him to hide things.

Just seems like a pointless conspiracy theory.

tom on February 16, 2012 at 7:08 AM

You all in the Nitt corner aren’t sending him $$? You cheap bassets!
Come on guys..

katy the mean old lady on February 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

lol..I was thinking something similar about the Romneyites. If they spent as much time writing checks to Romney’s campaign as they do in their numerous endorsements on HA, Romney could add another 100 million to his sons trust accounts.

DevilsPrinciple on February 16, 2012 at 6:43 AM

I just figured all the endorsements on HA were their primary sources of income….

tom on February 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM

Business men invest their money in something that will return dividends…perhaps they see less and less chance of him doing that.

They were riding high, feeling the “force”, knowing that if Mitt got elected, Wall Street could write their own ticket…now, it doesn’t look like that. Their golden goose ain’t going to be laying any eggs…they will just look for another investment, and if they think Obama can win, they will back him.
All they want is someone they can have leverage over, they could care less if it’s dem, or Republican…just as long as they can pull the strings, and Mitt was the perfect puppet.

right2bright on February 16, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Here is my advice to Mitt…the same as I gave 4 years ago…
Spend the next couple of years building your conservative creds, and you will win the election.
Along with being fiscally conservative, you also have to be social and militarily conservative.
They all go together, it’s a lifestyle, not a political convenience.
Mitt has a lot to offer, but he isn’t serious about leading the country, his wants to “run” the country.
Liberals run countries, they tell people what to do, they hand out “goodies”, they bully, coerce…that’s their way.
Conservatives lead people, they teach them to be individual’s, and they stand up and fight for those rights.
So Mitt, my friend, sit back, lick your wounds, and learn to be a conservative and you will be President…you can’t buy it, you tried it last time and you failed.

right2bright on February 16, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I just figured all the endorsements on HA were their primary sources of income….

tom on February 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM

lol..could be, Tom.

DevilsPrinciple on February 16, 2012 at 8:07 AM

They wanted to increase the co-pay at our county hospital a few years ago to $7.50 and you should have heard the wailing of the banshees.

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

That’s outrageous!
BTW – What does that equate in Pesos?
If anyone in the CA Central Valley votes for ChicagØbama, they should be sent back to Mess’ko. Oh, and take their “anchor babies” with ‘em.
IMHO of course.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 16, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Romney will never be able to say: “You like me, you really like me. aka Sally Fields

vicar7 on February 16, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Been sick the last week and barely into recovery… when I glanced at the title of this article I thought it read: “Is Romney’s campaign running out of Romney?”

Now that would have been an interesting article to read…

ajacksonian on February 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Romney’s problem is not money; Just as in 2008, Romney’s real problem is that he is Romney – and nobody likes or trusts him (Romney and Gingrich have this in common).

Pork-Chop on February 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Stories like this are self-fulfilling prophesies insofar as the worse the news gets for Romney, the more skittish his donors are likely to become about ponying up. It’d be easy for mischievous Republicans inclined towards Santorum or Gingrich to plant an extra seed of doubt in the media by pushing an angle like this — which is not to say that’s what’s going on here, but merely that it’s possibility.

haha this is freakin’ hilarious as Allah says right here that is what he and others pushing Santorum would like to see with Romney’s campaign!

This makes me want to go donate some more cash to Romney! Go Romney!

snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! nice job Republicans if Santorum is elected as our candidate.

g2825m on February 16, 2012 at 1:38 PM

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