April fundraising winners and losers
Mitt Romney, President Obama and a whole bunch of super PACs and party committees filed their April financial reports on Sunday.
And we know you guys don’t want to have to comb through them all (the FEC Web site? — fuggedaboutit!). Which is where we come in.
Below, we take a look at some of the winners and losers from the April reports, followed by a chart listing the amount raised and cash on hand for each major group.
What did we miss? The comments section awaits.
* Obama’s campaign: While Romney’s campaign continued to spend more than it raised in the month of April, Obama’s campaign continued to sock away money and now has a 12-to-1 advantage in cash on hand -- $115 million to $9.2 million. Romney raised more for his joint fundraising committee than Obama did, but by virtue of the primary, his campaign has given Obama’s campaign a $100 million head start.
* Romney’s apparatus: Obama may have the edge with his campaign, but Romney’s newly created joint fundraising venture with the Republican National Committee, Romney Victory, started bringing in big money early. The group doesn’t release disclosures monthly, so we don’t have specific numbers. But Romney’s fundraising for his campaign, joint committee and the Republican National Committee nearly equaled Obama’s in April. Much of that is low-hanging fruit, to be sure, but it’s a strong sign that big GOP donors are ready to give. And consider this: Politico’s Ken Vogel reports that Romney and major GOP groups have outraised Obama and major Democratic groups $402 million to $340 million so far this cycle. Once that money is focused on Romney, it may be clear that Republicans actually have the financial edge, and it’s quite possible Romney will raise and spend more between now and Election Day.
* Rep. Ron Paul: Despite having no shot at the nomination and essentially shutting itself down, Paul’s campaign pulled in $2 million in April – money that continues to be used to cause havoc at various state party conventions across the country. The latest exploit: Paul supporters earned 12 of the 13 open delegates in Minnesota this weekend and endorsed a Paul supporter for the race against Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Paul will continue to have the money he needs to craft a role for himself at the Republican National Convention — and beyond.
* Newt Gingrich: $1 million-2 million in debt is pretty normal for a presidential campaign that recently folded. Gingrich’s campaign has $4.8 million in debt. It’s not clear what role Gingrich sees for himself in the future of the Republican Party, but the debt carried by his campaign (including $1 million to a charter airplane company) will surely hamstring whatever he has planned.
* Super PACs: Adjust your conventional wisdom about spending in the 2012 election; it’s not necessarily super PACs that are dominating the world. In fact, super PACs downright struggled (relatively speaking) in April, with Priorities USA Action (Obama’s super PAC) raising just $1.6 million, American Crossroads (the top GOP super PAC) raising just $1.8 million, and Romney’s super PAC, Restore Our Future, seeing its fundraising drop to $4.6 million. (We should note that the bulk of Crossroads’ fundraising has gone to its affiliated issue advocacy group, which is technically not a super PAC; that group discloses quarterly rather than monthly.) The combined total of those three groups was less than Romney’s campaign raised.
* Sheldon Adelson: Gingrich’s super PAC, Winning Our Future, is sitting on more than $5 million of Adelson’s money (Adelson’s family basically funded the super PAC’s entire operations this year) and doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to spend it. The group raised just $683 in April, spent $133,000, and has $5.3 million cash on hand, with no candidate to spend it on.