Americans for Rick Perry as active as ever, raising $400,000 in three weeks

As a potential presidential campaign announcement by Texas Gov. Rick Perry comes ever closer (he’s expected to decide in the next few weeks), strategists and supporters seem ever more confident his decision will be a “yes.”

Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, for example, recently said he thinks Perry will run — and, as Rove has had a hand in Perry’s political career, his opinion ought to count for something. (In 1989, Rove helped to persuade Perry to join the Republican Party and to run for agriculture commissioner, and he was “heavily invested” in Perry’s election as lieutenant governor in 1998. But then, Rove also endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison against Perry in Perry’s most recent run for governor, so who knows what Rove knows?)

And, now, the group Americans for Rick Perry reports it has raised a fair amount of money in a short amount of time:

An outside group urging Texas Gov. Rick Perry to jump into the Republican presidential primary has raised $400,000 in three weeks, emboldening organizers to ramp up fundraising and represent him in next month’s Iowa straw poll — even if he is still on the fence.

Bob Schuman, a senior strategist for Americans for Rick Perry, said Thursday that the group is expanding its fundraising operation outside of Texas to include Miami, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The group can accept unlimited donations but, under federal law, can’t strategize with Perry himself.

The group is the same group that ventured to Ames, Iowa, to secure a vendor slot for Perry on the grounds of the straw poll campus. Few expect Perry to announce before he hosts a major prayer breakfast in Houston Aug. 6 — but, in the meantime, he must feel good to know his supporters are backing up their own prayers with cold, hard cash.