April 2, 2007

Romney Racks It Up

In a surprising turn, the biggest fundraiser in the Republican primary race turns out to be Mitt Romney. Earlier today, the Romney campaign announced that they had raised $23 million in the first quarter of 2007, far outstripping frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, who didn't get his money machine into full swing until last month:

Republican Mitt Romney reported raising $23 million for his presidential campaign during the first three months of the year, shaking up the GOP field and rivaling the total reported a day earlier by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Meanwhile, the Republican front-runner in the polls, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said his donations totaled $15 million — including more than $10 million raised during March alone.

Both Republican numbers blew away past party presidential fundraising standards, while Romney's figure put the former Massachusetts governor in competition with Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. The New York senator on Sunday reported raising $26 million between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Undoubtedly, Romney needed this kind of showing. In the latest Gallup poll, he had slid backwards into the second tier, dropping from 8% to 3% and into a tie with Sam Brownback. Despite a positive appearance at CPAC, Romney was in danger of losing steam and credibility. He had to show some sign that he could compete on the national stage, and Romney delivered it in his fundraising ability.

Meanwhile, Giuliani didn't do badly. He came up short of Romney's numbers, but $17 million looks pretty good. Even though Giuliani has had his exploration committee running for several months, it seemed as though Team Rudy really didn't get started until about halfway through 2007 Q1. A $10 million March indicates that Rudy's campaign can also compete.

This makes John McCain the odd man out. He raised $12.5 million in Q1, perhaps a bit higher than expected, given McCain's efforts to lower expectations last week. That puts him $5 million behind Rudy and almost lapped by Mitt. For a man who believed that he would lead the pack in the early going, that will not bolster confidence. It's not disastrous either, but if McCain can't do better than a distant third in Q2, he's going to start losing credibility.

What's encouraging is that both Rudy and Mitt look very competitive against Hillary. For Rudy, that has been a given. For Mitt, it might be a revelation -- and it might be enough to propel his numbers sharply upward.


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Comments (4)

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 6:25 PM

To some extent, Rudy helped Romney in recent days by acting like an amateur, while talking to Barbara Walters. Along with Rudy's tin ear about having his wife in cabinet meetings, he seems to think that he and his wife be able to keep one shred of privacy while running for President of the United States. How naive is that? Where have they been? The only wise thing to do is get the journalistic cavity search done early, on your timetable, because it's going to happen anyway.

March 30, 2007


As she has in the past, Mrs. Giuliani won't talk about how the couple met, other than saying she was "working" and it was "an accident." Accounts have varied over the years about how they met. Some reports have said they met at a function for their children's school, although their kids did not attend the same school at the time. Other accounts have them meeting in a Manhattan restaurant. Mrs. Giuliani also told Walters it was "painful" being known as the "other woman" while Giuliani was still married to Donna Hanover, especially because "I was a single working mom." "Rudy and I have never had any secrets from each other . . . Rudy and I have always known everything about each other," she says in the interview, according to transcripts released by ABC News. "I have just recently begun - I think they call it in the political world - being 'rolled out publicly.' And when I was asked, we discussed [Ross]. That was my decision." She also says that when she and Giuliani first met, they had an instant attraction and "an incredible . . . mutual respect for each other." They met while the then-mayor was still married to Hanover. Rudy Giuliani insists the former Judith Nathan wasn't the reason he and Hanover busted up in public fashion in May 2000. "I tried to keep all that private as possible," says Giuliani, who announced his breakup with Hanover at a press conference. "But I'm not . . . I think I should be very, very clear that [Judith] was not the cause of the breakup in any way at all."

Posted by gull [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 6:58 PM

I have utmost respect for Rudy, but no candidate has the personal and professional qualities of Mitt Romney. Newsmax is not one of my primary references, but their feature on Mitt today certainly hit on all aspects of the man and his capabilities. No baggage; no hype; the total package -- he's the leader we need. Pardon me for gushing; I've been sold on him for a long time.

Posted by CJ [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 8:11 PM

Mitt's been my man and will be until Fred Thompson actually announces. Then I will have to look at both of them long and hard to make a choice of one.

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 9:48 PM

I have utmost respect for Rudy, but no candidate has the personal and professional qualities of Mitt Romney

Well if we were electing the American Idol of flip floppers I admit it would come down to Mitt and McCain.

Wonder how much of this money has been funneled through LDS?