McCain Lags Behind Romney and Giuliani in Fundraising

Presidential Pie

McCain’s campaign just released a statement saying that his campaign will report raising over $12.5 million this quarter which will put him in third place behind Romney at $23 million raised and Giuliani at around $15 million raised.

What does this all mean? First off this isn’t a good sign for the McCain campaign. Here is a guy who was considered the frontrunner with all of the fundraising connections and insitutional support and yet he is going to finish in third place this quarter. Not good.

At this point in a race for President, perception means everything. It is vital to pick up key supporters across the country, important to shape media coverage, and important to convince donors across the country to give to your campaign.

Having McCain finish third behind Romney and Giuliani is all but guaranteed to generate a series of stories questioning the strength of his campaign and his chances of winning. McCain’s numbers will also give rise again to the murmurs in political circles that McCain chances of winning the GOP nomination are decreasing by the day.

One has to wonder what’s going on in McCain’s camp. By all accounts he has a fairly strong and experienced team who knew that putting up a good number in the first quarter was vital to the campaign. Now they will try to spin it by saying it’s not that important, but you know that within the McCain brain trust, people are worried.

The reality for McCain is that his fundraising numbers are a symptom of what’s wrong with McCain ’08. There just isn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm among Republicans for McCain. He has alienated conservatives with stands on any number of issues, and his attempts to placate conservatives have had the effect of turning off McCain’s real base in the party – liberal and moderate Republicans.

So, in effect, McCain really has no substantive base within the party to run on. It looks like traditional Republican donors (read: big donors) have picked up on this and we are seeing the effect of that in McCain’s numbers.


  1. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Don’t write his obit yet… Sure, he’s behind on money, but he’s ahead on organization. He’s second in most polls and is better on the ground than the guy in front of him. Romney has the most money, but then so did Phil Gramm…

    Its not that McCain doesn’t have problems, or that he doesn’t deserve them. He does, and he does…

    But this is a long race yet, the field still isn’t set (Thompson, Gingrich, et al) and most polls still have about 40% of folks undecided when you include those who say they will vote for folks not even in the race…

  2. The real question is how much money do they have in the bank? The rumor is that McCain’s campaign has been dumping tons of money into consultants. If that’s the case, the next question is whether that is money well spent?

  3. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    We’ll find out after the 15th when the FEC filings come out…

  4. kralmajales says

    Sonoran Truth makes a great point about the organization and ground game of Romney. I also wonder about Rudy’s ground game, but still, how strong is McCain really among activists? I hear a lot of lukewarm support.

    My take on the McCain fundraising, 3rd place finish is this.

    While there is big money in small donations from the right wing base of the party, the bulk of the big money comes from big business interests. Romney for many many years has had deep ties to corporate types…not sure how well McCain does.

    But I will go further. I think McCain’s support of the surge is a big problem for him with moderate, traditional business types that might prefer a Rudy or a Romney.

    I really wonder if the money issue is not so much the lack of support by the right, but more a lack of a belief in his tough stance on the war by many big donors who like small government, less spending.

    Just a thought.

  5. So has Sonoran Alliance now teamed up with USA to bring us the best in pie chart reporting that the nation has to offer? 🙂

    In order to have the analysis complete, we will need to see cash on hand. Romney seems tight lipped on how much he has spent. If he has burned through most of his assets already, this positive may turn into a negative.

  6. STS is right; the field has yet to be set and the amount of money being held back until Thompson (Fred not Tommy) & Newt make their final intentions clear is enormous. The early money from hometown supporters, particularly from areas of like NY & Mass where hearty contributors are not uncommon, is not a true indicator of longevity but of a quick start.

    The positive buzz around Thompson right now is the best possible; he hasn’t even formed an exploratory committee and he is getting lots of quality free press. Earned media is always a good thing and the more the hype around his candidacy grows, the bigger his name gets and he never spends a dime.

  7. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    That’s right! Listen to Ann when she says I’m right, she knows what she’s talking about!

    But that ONLY applies to when she says I’m right. The rest of the time? I don’t know… I don’t know at all…


  8. Another interesting aspect is the amount of money the Dems have collected. Be it only among 3 real candidates, sorry Mr. Biden, but what does that say about the strength of their numbers?

    With the NY candidate in the lead among Dems and in second in the R’s, the battle of the presidential buck in NY must be very heated. And if you take a look at, the amount of money from NY is huge! They either love or hate each of them and would do anything to see their guy/gal get in and the other obliterated.

    In as much as the field of Dems is very narrow and determined will they be able to pull in the dollars that their uncommitted conservative counterparts (like me) are holding on to? In so doing will that give the Dems a larger stage with a well produced show, and perhaps give their nominee extra footage, much like an incumbent who can tout their success early on as part of their office while the challengers flounder in a full field waiting for one or two to rise to the top?

    PS: STS, you are very wise to say listen to Ann because most of the time we do agree. And you are quite funny, too.

  9. ms coyote says

    Well our house which consists of one very independent voter and one republican voter, we will not be even remotely thinking about Romney.
    After reading that Romney has selected to be on his financial team the head of the Vestar development co out of Phoenix, we would never consider voting for him .
    Vestar is the developer who brings you the Wal Marts and super Wal Marts.
    I think that once labor and middle class people make the connection he won’t be very popular.
    McCain hm, we used to like him, but he has changed his mind too often.
    Guiliani is the best republican candidate out there and has the best chance of our vote.
    Think it will be Hillary vs Rudy.

  10. Yes, because if there is one thing that middle class Republicans and Independents cannot stand, it is Walmart!

  11. kralmajales says

    Ann’s point (if I have it correctly) about the late entry of Republicans is interesting, especially whether it will give stage to others. I wonder if waiting for Newt or Thompson is going to be the answer. In the past, a late entry could come along and jump in, get momentum, and win it. I think those days could be over though with the amount of money it takes to win and the very compressed schedule. A Thompson(s) or Gingrich are now very late when you consider that even McCain has $12 Million and Romney a $26 million figure. Additionally, with Guiliani sitting in the New York market and Romeny in the Boston media market (for NH), these other folks better get with it and quick.

    I do want to ask one thing. I heard a new Gallop poll about Fred Thompson. While he showed up 3rd in the polls, few know much of anything about him. Most Republicans polled couldn’t answer what they knew about him and most who did mentioned that he was an actor.

    This gives another pickle for him as a late entry, although he can define himself the way he wants.

  12. kralmajales says

    Oh…the cash on hand issue that DSW and Framer raise. I just wonder how much a Romney could have spent. Even if he did spend a ton, he has $26 Million. I doubt very much that he could have spent THAT much of it to even matter.

  13. Many have opined the candidate who is the least damaged by their own party in the primary will be the strongest candidate in the general. As the leading candidates to date, Mitt and Rudy have the most to lose. Their ability to sustain the amount of financial support they have received so far may not be easy if another, more electable, candidate should emerge. The baggage of Giuliani is starting to get a bit more action and Romney has the history of flip-flops that may be hard to overcome. How soon before the pot shots from within really start? That is how Newt and Fred Thompson could stand to enter late, get lots of free media coverage right down to the history of their public and private lives. When the words, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” from the Watergate hearings are uttered by a young and very statesmanlike Fred Thompson from file footage on every channel and at every opportunity, just how valuable would that be in terms of dollars? Who cares if the others have money in the bank, the free buzz and media hype would immediately give them a huge bump.

    The fleeing fans of other candidates will put their money where their mouth is, along with folks like me who have said no to requests from Rudy, Newt, and John.

  14. Ann:
    Regarding Mitt Romney: When a “flip-flopper” flops to the conservative side, many of us think they have wised-up.
    The problem arises when liberals run as Republicans and give us no choice in the general election.
    And, who is more inconsistant than our very senior senator?

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