It’s starting to sound that way. A new investigation by Bloomberg has been digging through the campaign finance reports, interviewing campaign aides and donors, and reaches the conclusion that Newt Gingrich may be running on fumes at this point in terms of election cash. And his Super PAC money may be drying up also.
Newt Gingrich was just days away from the Jan. 31 Florida Republican presidential primary when he told reporters that his campaign was down to its last $600,000.
Five losing contests later, Gingrich and Winning Our Future, an outside political action committee supporting him, are almost silent on television airwaves, offering free water and coffee at events, and revamping a fundraising strategy based largely on the support of a single wealthy backer, Sheldon Adelson and the Las Vegas casino owner’s family.
In the past seven days, Winning Our Future has spent $61,290 on broadcast television advertisements, compared to $636,920 spent by Mitt Romney and a super-PAC backing him, Restore Our Future, according to data compiled by New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, a company that tracks advertising.
T-Paw got in on the act, telling NBC that he hopes Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson will “shut off the spigot” in terms of keeping Newt’s campaign afloat. That strikes me as a rather strange position for Pawlenty to take, given that he’s backing Mitt. The minute Newt gets shoved out of the race entirely, the game effectively turns into a one on one fight between Romney and Santorum, and all of the latest polls indicate that that’s a story which really doesn’t end well for Mitt. If I was Pawlenty, I’d probably be pumping money into Newt’s coffers just to keep him going.
But in all seriousness, if this report proves true, Newt is in trouble. There are contests coming up in some big states with very expensive media markets, and if he can’t take part in the air war, he’s at a tremendous disadvantage. Earned media can get you a long way, but Iowa probably showed Newt how effective a good ad game can be also. The Speaker is going to need a real stem winder of a speech at CPAC today if he’s going to turn the tide.