Third quarter fundraising not so hot, operatives say

Oct. 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has raised more than $17 million during the third quarter, his campaign said Wednesday.

CBS News reported that's much more than the $10 million the campaign had set as a goal for fundraising for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 even though Perry entered the race late and had less time to raise money than other candidates.

In a statement, Perry's campaign said it had raised the funds for the GOP primary between Aug. 13 and Sept. 30 from more than 22,000 donors.

"The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Governor Perry's principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again," said Rob Johnson, Perry's campaign manager.

Perry's main rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, took in $18 million in campaign contributions in the second quarter and is expected to raise $10 million to $12 million in the third quarter, CBS said. A Romney spokesman declined to release the third-quarter total but said, "We feel good in the strength of our finance team and the fact that we are adding new people every day."

Reports on third-quarter fundraising are due to the Federal Election Commission Oct. 15.

Meanwhile, third-quarter fundraising for congressional candidates likely will show some of the worst totals in recent history, party insiders said.

Twenty operatives in both the Democratic and Republican camps say the past three months will show some of the bleakest numbers in recent election cycles, Roll Call reported Wednesday.

Some theorize fundraising could be off about 25 percent, while others said that they had to solicit nearly twice as much to meet their goals. The list of possible causes for the falloff included the Jewish New Year, Hurricane Irene, the struggling economy and congressional action or inaction.

"I think it's really challenging right now for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the economy," Democratic consultant Mark Nevins told Roll Call. "People are reluctant to invest heavily in campaigns right now because they have their own personal financial concerns to worry about."

Democrats also sing the blues about the aggressive fundraising campaign for President Obama's re-election that is leaving Democratic House and Senate candidates scrambling for donations.

"It makes it hard for congressional candidates who constantly hear, 'I'm federally maxed out,'" the Democratic fundraiser told Roll Call.

An active and diverse field seeking the party's presidential nomination has contributed to less-than-robust national donations for Republicans as well, consultants said

"Having an active fundraising presidential field ... occupies the attention of the biggest A-list bundles in a given state," a Republican consultant said. "It's not that donors are tapped out. What happened is the very best bundlers are distracted."

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