For Romney, a Fundraising Drop-Off

By Politics
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who led Republican candidates in money raised during the first three months of the presidential race with $21 million, told top fundraisers yesterday that his campaign will bring in less during the second quarter and that he continues to lend money from his personal fortune to ensure that more voters hear his message.

"This tells only part of the story given this cycle's unprecedented nature, and the competing needs of less well-known candidates, such as Governor Romney, for both fundraising dollars and political exposure," said the memo to fundraisers from senior campaign adviser Alex Castellanos and top lawyers Benjamin Ginsberg and Katie Biber Chen.

"Our total will reflect the campaign's strategic decision to include more political travel days in this quarter than in the first," they explained, noting that Romney spent a total of 20 days in the early primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa between April and June, double the time he spent there in the first three months of 2007.

Campaign officials also said that Romney -- whose net worth is in the hundreds of millions -- made another seven-figure loan to his campaign this quarter, on top of the $2.4 million he gave to jump-start his effort at the end of last year.

"Governor Romney is committed to ensuring that the campaign continues to expand and that he can spread his message," the memo said. "Governor Romney is matching the level of commitment exhibited by supporters and contributors who are providing the campaign with the resources it needs to win in this very new type of campaign."

Though the fundraising quarter ends today at midnight, Romney's team isn't expected to release an actual tally of his second-quarter haul -- expected to fall between $13 million and $20 million -- until the middle or end of next week.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who finished second to Romney on the GOP side last quarter, had another strong fundraising quarter and could release his tally early next week. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is trying to improve on the $13 million he raised in the first quarter, and expects to fall between $10 million and $15 million, fundraisers said.

But the top Republicans are all likely to be outdone by the top two finishers on the Democratic side.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York expects to raise $27 million to $28 million in the second quarter, though some of that will be general election donations that can't be spent in the primaries. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, whose campaign announced that it has already collected money from 250,000 supporters this year, is poised to keep pace or slightly exceed that, with $25 million to $30 million, mostly in primary money.

Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina has been aiming to raise $9 million in the second quarter.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who raised $6.2 million in the first quarter, announced yesterday that he will raise at least $7 million in the second quarter.

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