Romney had best fundraising month in March

Not that it matters now, but Mitt Romney had his best fundraising month of the primary campaign in March, raising more than $12 million.  His campaign report shows a fiscally-sound balance sheet and plenty of cash on hand:

 The Romney campaign today announced that it hauled in nearly $12.6 million in the month of March – the largest amount they have raised since the former Massachusetts Governor entered the presidential race. …

Romney has so far only raised money for the Republican primary. It was recently reported that the Romney campaign will begin working with the Republican National Committee with a goal of raising $800 million to use against the president in the general election.

Romney ended the month of March with no debt and nearly $10.1 million cash on hand. The campaign did not announce how much it had spent in the month, though it is expected that its expenditures have continued to decrease from the $18.7 million and $12.3 million spent in January and February respectively, when he was battling both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for the Republican party’s nomination.

And just to remind people what it means for a candidate to partner with the party, MSNBC offers this reminder:

Eye-popping donations totaling $50,000 or more have taken the place of the relatively meager $2,500 checks to Mitt Romney’s campaign now that the former Massachusetts governor has pivoted to the general election.

The $2,500 figure might be most familiar to political observers as the maximum possible contribution to a candidate allowed by law.

But things aren’t quite that simple.

The most generous political donors might write checks totaling $38,500 — or as much as $50,000 — to gain access to the most exclusive fundraisers for either Romney or President Obama. Romney’s begun to attend these fundraisers, including a notable one on Sunday evening.

Why the change? And how is it legal? The answer lies in the so-called “Victory” funds set up by the Obama and Romney campaigns, each in concert with their respective national party committees and select state party organizations. The structure is designed to make it easy for the richest donors to write the largest possible checks to their candidate of choice.

Er … “how is it legal”?  Did anyone at MSNBC ask that question a year ago, when the Obama campaign began doing the very same thing?  This has been going on since last spring with the DNC and Team Obama.  In fact, neither one has specified how much each got of their joint $53 million haul from March.

Even without that kind of help, Romney has raised $87 million over the last year for the primary fight — while only having 11% of their donors max out for the first stage.  Romney and the RNC will get a late start, but they may catch up very quickly, especially considering Team Obama’s burn rate.  Even after raising perhaps $200 million over the last few quarters, they only had $85 million cash-on-hand at the end of March.  Romney has $10 million and no debt, and a good chance to close the gap rapidly.

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David Strom 6:41 PM on January 26, 2023