Today marks the day when GOP candidates are required to submit their second quarter financial reports to the Federal Election Commission.  The second quarter covered April 1st to June 30th.  Fundraising isn’t the only thing in a campaign, but it certainly is an important factor.  Without money, you can’t get your word out to the voters.  A look at today’s numbers reveal the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and there is a whole lot of ugly.

The Good:

Mitt Romney: 

Cash Raised: 18.2 Million

Cash On Hand: 12.7 Million

Approx Spending: 5.5 Million

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 23.8%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 230K

Romney is clearly the leader when it comes to gross fundraising.  But a look at the details indicate that the bulk of his donations are from people who maxed out on their 2500 limit to primary candidates.  So many of his donors are people he is unable to hit up again during the campaign.  Only 6% of his fundraising total came from small donors, those donating $200 or less.  That being said, money is money, and Romney has a lot of it.


Ron Paul:

Cash Raised: 4.5 Million in fundraising plus 1 Million transferred from his congressional campaign, which he will no longer be needing.

Cash On Hand: 4 Million

Approx Spending: 1.5 Million

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 6%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 250K

Unlike Pawlenty and Romney, a majority of Paul’s donations appear to be in amounts collected in spontaneous (non-campaign led) grassroots money bombs.  Paul became famous for the grassroots money bombs during his 2008 campaign.  The money bombs are typically made of of many individuals giving small amounts that add up greatly.  The great thing about this type of fundraising, besides the fact that the campaign is not spending money to get money, is that these donors don’t max out quickly and continuously give in small amounts multiple times a campaign.  Paul ends the quarter with the second most cash on hand.


Michele Bachmann:

Cash Raised: 2.2 Million and transferred an additional 2 Million from congressional campaign.

Cash On Hand: 3.6 Million

Approx Spending: 600K

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 13%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 45K

75% from small donors

Aside from Santorum, Bachmann may be seen as one of the biggest losers on FEC reporting day.  She is one of the most recent additions to the field, so in her defense she has not had as much time to raise money as most of the other candidates have had.  But headlines from just a few days ago read “Bachmann seen with hefty campaign cash haul” I’m sure that lead came from inside her campaign to buy here a few days of great press leading up to the filing date, but that may prove to have been a poor decision, as now Bachmann falls way below expectations.  The article includes speculation from The Iowa Republican’s Craig Robinson saying “If she were to post $8 million to $10 million, she’d be the clear number two to Romney. If there’s a clear separation between her and the rest of the field, that’s great momentum.”  Andrew Hemingway, chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus in New Hampshire was also quoted in the piece saying: “If it’s over $10 million, it’s huge. If it’s under $5 million, it’s disappointing.”  Needless to say, quite dissappointing for the Bachmann campaign.

Also this is another case of where the numbers don’t seem to add up right, it is hard to believe she has only spent 600K.  But as the Iowa Republican notes in “Bachmann’s Weekend Job –Running for President“, only running on the weekend is pretty cheap, and given her poll numbers, she is getting quite a bang for her buck.

UPDATE 7-16: After some more thought, and more information hitting the press today, I have upgraded Bachmann’s rating from Ugly to Good.  After sifting through late night filings, people with much more time than I are starting to sort through the details and bring more information to light.  The main reason for the upgrade is the fact that over the last quarter she raised a reported 2.5Million in her congressional account, bringing her fundraising total to 4.7Million over the quarter.  Note, the 2M she transferred was likely money preexisting this new 2.5M, as she had 2.8M cash on hand in her congressional account at the end of the 1st quarter, so depending on what she has spent (have not found that report yet), she may have a few million left in her congressional acount to transfer if she wants to go all in for the presidency and doesn’t want any money in her congressional account to fall back on and stay in congress, if she loses the primary.  So her total for the quarter is really 4.7M that can be used if she wanted for her presidential campaign, that is good.  But it remains well below the 10M speculated after her campaign hinted at a large sum.  I can’t fault her too much for wild speculation, even if her campaign had something to do with it.  

As to anyone who may disagree or criticize the change, I will quote a man I disagree with strongly in most instance, but gets this one right: 

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” -John Maynard Keynes

The Bad:

Tim Pawlenty: 

Cash Raised: 4.5 Million

Cash On Hand: 2 Million

Approx Spending: 2.5 Million

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 4.3%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 580K

Despite media reporting of the same ’round number’ of 4.5 million, raised by both Pawlenty and Paul, Pawlenty’s campaign manager Nick Ayers sent out an email to supporters stating: “Today’s FEC disclosure reports make this point clearly. We came in second place in Republican presidential fundraising. That’s a big deal and a far cry from the narrative promoted in the press.” Actually, according to open secrets, who has the numbers down to the cent, Pawlenty is a few hundred thousand behind Paul.  Even if you use round numbers and call it a tie, if you go on to look at cash on hand as a tiebreaker, Pawlenty is still not in second place, Paul is.

Another disappointing figure for Pawlenty is the amount spent per percentage point in the polls, at 580K per point, Pawlenty is getting the least bang for his bucks out of all the candidates, in fact that is about twice as much as other candidates are spending.  It could be argued that looking at national polls for this measure is not fair in Pawlenty’s case, since he appears to be putting all his eggs in one basket, Iowa.  But the most recent polls from Iowa tell an even more dire story.  The poll of likely Republican Iowa Caucus goers, completed just 4 days ago had Pawlenty at only 2%.

Like Romney, most of Pawlenty’s donors were deep pocket individuals that are now maxed out and unable to contribute again in the future.  Only 10% of his total was given by small donors giving under $200.  This may make future fundraising more difficult.

The Wall Street Journal summarizes Pawlenty’s financial postition as follows:

“The former Minnesota governor ended June with $1.4 million that he can use in the primary. He may need to stretch that money to make a splash in the Aug. 13 Iowa straw poll in Ames. The Pawlenty campaign just reserved nearly $200,000 in network television advertising in the Hawkeye State in the weeks leading up to the straw poll. That kind of spending will eat up the money he has left unless he is able to generate more funds quickly.”


Jon Huntsman:

Cash Raised: 4.1 Million (approximately 2 Million was a loan from himself)

Cash On Hand:  Unknown

Approx Spending: Unknown

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 2%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: Unknown

Because he entered the race so late in the quarter, Huntsman was not required to officially report, but his campaign released the above numbers.  These numbers are self reported, and if inaccurate, no one will know for another 3 months and at that point no one would notice or likely care if you fibbed a little, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.  If your a glass half full kind of guy, Huntsman raised over 2 million dollars in a very short amount of time.  If your a glass half empty kind of guy, nearly half of his cash came from his own pocketbook.

The Ugly:

Rick Santorum:

Cash Raised: 582K

Cash On Hand: 229K

Approx Spending: 353K

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 2.5%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 141K

The Santorum campaign must be very disappointed in today’s numbers.  Santorum is not seen as some kind of fringe candidate, he receives the press of a front runner, so why can’t he raise money like a front runner?

He can at least take comfort in knowing that he is not 1 Million dollars in debt as Gingrich reportedly is, or required to donate to himself to stay out of the red, as Cain has reportedly done.

Newt Gingrich

Cash Raised: 2.1 Million

Cash On Hand: 300K (see note below)

Approx Spending: 1.8 Million

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 4.8%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 375K

It is difficult to know exactly what Gingrich’s financial position is, is it bad or really bad?  Reported numbers to the FEC indicate he has approximately 300K on hand, which is bad.  But, when staff bailed on his floundering campaign a few weeks ago, they reported that the real numbers are closer to 1 Million dollars in debt.  Many suspect Gingrich will remain in the race just long enough to make sure he finishes in the black.  Gingrich is seen as a strong fiscal conservative, but he doesn’t appear to be running his campaign that way.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

He paid Infocision, an Akron, Ohio-based telemarketer, $285,000 to raise money for him. He also spent nearly $500,000 on a pair of Austin, Texas, companies to host his website. The former speaker, who prefers traveling by private jet, spent $50,000 on air travel through Moby Dick Airways and owes the company another $451,946.

500K for a few months of web hosting!  Maybe someone should give Newt the number to GoDaddy.

Herman Cain:

Cash Raised: 2.1 Million (additional 500K self loan)

Cash On Hand: 481K

Approx Spending: 2.1 Million

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 6.5%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 325K

Considering Cain’s position at the beginning of the race, he should be encouraged by the fact that he raised as much as Gingrich and Bachmann, and much more than Santorum.  But he is also spending a lot more then they are.  It appears he had to make a loan to his campaign in order to appear to stay out of the red.

Cain has a lot in common with Gingrich, both have had difficulty keeping campaign staff, and both have been spending very much unlike their fiscally conservative image.  Cain has spent a lot of time and money away from the key early battleground states.  He spent the 4th of July in Pennsylvania, and has made recent trips to Oregon and Tennessee.  Nothing against the good people of those states, but Cain needs to remember that this is the primary, not the general.  Without a good showing early, Cain will be out of the race long before the people of Pennsylvania, Oregon and Tennessee head into the voting booth.  Cain even spend 10K on having Joe the Plumber show up to an event.  I know plumbers are expensive, but at least get one with a license.

Gary Johnson:

Cash Raised: 180K

Cash On Hand: 6K

Approx Spending: 174K

Real Clear Politics Polling(National): 1%

Dollars Spent Per Poll Percentage: 174K

Former New Mexico Governor Johnson is certainly a long shot for the nomination and the fundraising numbers bear that out.  But in light of the paltry numbers posted by top tier Santorum, 180K by a long shot ain’t half bad.



Unless noted otherwise, fundraising totals were obtained from the Wall Street Journal and polling numbers were obtained from the national poll aggregates on Real Clear Politics.

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