Mitt Romney thought he'd have this thing sewn up by now. But the longer GOP nomination race might mean the presumptive Republican nominee could be running out of campaign cash.
Buzzfeed's Zeke Miller says there are rumblings within the Republican party that Romney may have tapped out his campaign cash machine. Romney has been relying almost exclusively on large donors who can give $2,500, but he has failed to gain traction with small-dollar donors like those who gave to Barack Obama in 2008 and Rick Santorum this time around.
Some Republican fundraisers say they are starting to turn their attention away from Romney and focus more on Congressional and downballot races.
The fact that fundraising is “slowing down” has has become a recurring topic of conversation among Romney bundlers, a third Republican fundraiser said, providing a bullet-pointed list of six reasons for the difficulty:
–Romney has been “tapping out” major cities including New York, Miami, Boston, and Los Angeles.
–Romney has less time to raise money because he’s been on the road in places like Missouri and Maine, where there’s little money to be found. “Not a lot of money comes out of those states,” the fundraiser said. “He now only has time to pop into major fundraising cities for just a few hours.”
–Romney doesn’t inspire much more enthusiasm among the rich than he does small donors: “Romney is still presumed the front runner and donors think he is going to win, but the excitement level is still very low.”
–The Romney campaign narrative undercuts low-dollar fundraising: “With Romney the presumed ‘front-runner’ he is expected to win every state. So when he does win, it is not shocking, but expected; and when he losses, it is a major disappointment. Neither are good recipes for low dollar fundraising.”
–The donors weren’t ready for an intramural dogfight: “They never expected this Santorum surge and quite frankly aren't comfortable calling their colleagues with the pitch ‘help Mitt Romney defeat Rick Santorum in the primary.’ It is honestly a little embarrassing. They don't understand how the campaign hasn't already locked up the nomination. Donors see it as a waste of money and don't take the Santorum surge seriously."
–For the ultra-rich, It’s easier to write a big check to the Super PAC than to pester your friends for $2,500 contributions to the campaign. “What you are seeing happen with the Romney camp now is that these huge donors have two options: they can either spend hours a day on the phone bundling $2,500 checks from friends and family, or they can just drop $1,000,000 into the Romney Super PAC and feel that they have done their ‘duty.’”