GOP candidates’ third-quarter fundraising: Most of Perry’s money came from Texas

October 15, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry relied heavily on large donors and money from his home state to fund his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a new fundraising report shows.

Perry took in $9.7 million from donors in Texas, more than half of the $17 million raised by his campaign during the quarter that ended Sept. 30, according to the report filed Saturday.

Perry’s campaign raised $12.3 million from donors giving the maximum $2,500 contribution allowed by law. About 4 percent of his fundraising came from small donors giving less than $200 at a time, a much smaller share than most of his competitors.

“We’ve received donations from all 50 states, and the governor’s been in this less than eight weeks,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. “We’ve raised a considerable amount of money in a short time.”

Perry’s lean campaign operation spent $2.1 million during the quarter and racked up $339,000 in debts to outside vendors.

Perry’s total puts him at the top of the Republican field in fundraising, but his reliance on maxed-out donors who are legally prohibited from contributing more means it will require a lot of work to continue raising money in light of the candidate’s recent collapse in the polls.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney came in second behind Perry, raising $14 million while spending $12 million on a growing campaign operation.

Romney’s report shows a heavy reliance on the financial sector for his donations. Employees of Goldman Sachs have given Romney $293,000 and Credit Suisse employees account for an additional $180,000. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul attributed the campaign’s fundraising to frustration with President Obama’s handling of the economy.

Perry’s biggest source of cash was the employees of Ryan, a Texas tax and accounting firm run by G. Brint Ryan, a supporter of the governor. The company’s employees gave $158,000 to Perry’s campaign.

Obama dwarfed his GOP competition, raising $70 million for his campaign and the Democratic Party in the third quarter. The biggest source of cash for Obama was Microsoft, whose employees have given $316,000 to the president and the Democratic National Committee since March.

Businessman Herman Cain’s campaign raised $2.8 million in the quarter, including a $175,000 personal loan to his campaign, according to his disclosure report. Cain raised more than half his money, $1.5 million, from small donors and had $1 million left in the bank at the end of September. His rise in polls has boosted fundraising in the two weeks since the end of the reporting period, Cain said Saturday at a campaign stop and book signing in Tennessee.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) reported raising $3.8 million in contributions from people giving less than $200, far more than the three front-runners in the race. Altogether Paul raised $8.3 million, including a $500,000 transfer from his congressional campaign, according to a new filing. He spent the money almost as fast as he took it in, with $7.5 million in expenditures.

Paul’s campaign has a reliable roster of supporters willing to fund his bid for the nomination, but he has so far been unable to appeal to a broader swath of the Republican electorate. Paul’s support has been stable at 10 percent or 11 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning independents in the three most recent Washington Post-ABC News polls.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum reported raising less than $1 million in the third quarter. He had $190,000 in the bank to fund his campaign, while he owed vendors $72,000. The report shows the challenge that Santorum faces getting his message to voters in a crowded Republican nomination contest.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) raised $4.1 million in the third quarter but spent $6 million. Her campaign had $1.5 million in the bank at the end of September and was $550,000 in debt.

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