CAMPAIGN 2012

For Perry, A Rapid Fundraising Rise — and Fall

Texas governor meeting Friday with Washington insiders after big fundraising dropoff.

National Journal
Reid Wilson Peter Bell
Oct. 20, 2011, 4:07 p.m.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign with an ag­gress­ive fun­drais­ing sched­ule that quickly made him a front-run­ner for the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion. But re­ports his cam­paign filed with the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion show that his abil­ity to at­tract big money fell off steeply in Septem­ber — per­haps not co­in­cid­ent­ally — at the same time a series of rocky de­bate per­form­ances threatened his early front-run­ner status.

From Na­tion­al Journ­al:

CAM­PAIGN 2012 Rom­ney Go­ing for Quick Kill of Perry

CAM­PAIGN 2012Perry’s K Street Meet-and-Greet

CAM­PAIGN 2012 PIC­TURES: Perry’s Polit­ic­al His­tory

As Perry ar­rives on Fri­day in Wash­ing­ton for a private meet­ing with K Street in­siders, the ques­tion is wheth­er he can con­vince the smart money that his cam­paign is worth an in­vest­ment. After three tor­rid weeks in Au­gust when he raised more than twice as much as his nearest fun­drais­ing rival, Perry has now fallen back in­to a much more com­pet­it­ive fun­drais­ing race with Mitt Rom­ney. That is not good news for a can­did­ate who, be­cause of his late entry in­to the race, has a lot of catch­ing up to do. Rom­ney has raised $32 mil­lion since the be­gin­ning of this cam­paign cycle.

(PIC­TURES: Meet the 2012 Pres­id­en­tial Hope­fuls)

In his first week on the trail, Perry raised more than $1.5 mil­lion from sup­port­ers who donated more than $200 each, the FEC re­ports show. He raised an­oth­er $2 mil­lion the fol­low­ing week and a stag­ger­ing $5.3 mil­lion dur­ing the week of Aug. 28, when buzz around his can­did­acy reached a peak.

Perry’s three worst fun­drais­ing weeks co­in­cided with a series of weak de­bate per­form­ances. Perry’s halt­ing style, in­ab­il­ity to hit talk­ing points, and ap­par­ent fa­tigue to­ward the end of the de­bates sent his poll num­bers plunging.

His fun­drais­ing fol­lowed suit. Perry raised $858,000 the week of the Sept. 7 de­bate at the Ron­ald Re­agan Pres­id­en­tial Lib­rary in Simi Val­ley, Cal­if. He raised $1.3 mil­lion the fol­low­ing week, when GOP pres­id­en­tial hope­fuls de­bated in Tampa, Fla.

A spokes­wo­man for Perry said the gov­ernor is sat­is­fied with his take. “Gov. Perry is very pleased with his fun­drais­ing ef­forts, rais­ing more than $17 mil­lion in 49 days, a clear sig­nal of the over­whelm­ing sup­port for his con­ser­vat­ive re­cord and vis­ion to get Amer­ica work­ing again,” said Cath­er­ine Fra­zi­er in an e-mail to Na­tion­al Journ­al. “The cam­paign ac­tu­ally on av­er­age brought in a high­er amount per day after the de­bates than be­fore.”

Dur­ing the same peri­od, however, Perry reached, then lost, his brief lead in na­tion­al and early-primary state polls. A CNN/Opin­ion Re­search Corp. sur­vey con­duc­ted Aug. 24-25 among 467 adults showed Perry lead­ing former Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney 27 per­cent to 14 per­cent. An­oth­er CNN/ORC poll Oct. 14-16 showed Rom­ney’s sup­port at 26 per­cent with former God­fath­er’s Pizza CEO Her­man Cain at 25 per­cent; in that sur­vey, Perry fell to 13 per­cent. Perry has seen sim­il­ar polling leads in Iowa and South Car­o­lina fall as he struggles to find his foot­ing as a can­did­ate.

Back-to-back de­bates put pres­sure on every can­did­ate’s fun­drais­ing sched­ule. Rom­ney, Perry, and Cain all raised less dur­ing de­bate weeks than dur­ing off weeks.

(PIC­TURES: Where Re­pub­lic­an Pres­id­en­tial Can­did­ates Stand on Jobs)

But Perry’s Septem­ber dropoff was so sud­den and steep it sug­gests oth­er factors were at work. To the Texas gov­ernor, put­ting his cam­paign on the right track is es­sen­tial to at­tract­ing the high-dol­lar donors, upon which he most heav­ily re­lies, to fund his cam­paign. Of the $17 mil­lion he raised in his first full quarter as a can­did­ate, $16.3 mil­lion, or 96 per­cent, came in chunks great­er than $200 — the level at which the FEC re­quires cam­paigns to list the names and oc­cu­pa­tions of donors.

By con­trast, Rom­ney re­ceived about 86 per­cent, or $12.1 mil­lion of the $14.1 mil­lion he raised in the last quarter, from big donors.

Oth­er can­did­ates with few­er ties to the Re­pub­lic­an fin­an­cial es­tab­lish­ment rely more on small-dol­lar con­tri­bu­tions. About half of Texas Rep. Ron Paul‘s war chest was filled with dona­tions of $200 or less. Cain and Rep. Michele Bach­mann of Min­nesota re­lied mainly on small, grass­roots con­tri­bu­tions; the li­on’s share, 72 per­cent, of all Bach­mann’s con­tri­bu­tions came in dona­tions of $200 or less.

Rom­ney’s big-dol­lar donor pro­gram ramped up as the third quarter came to an end, ac­cord­ing to his FEC re­ports. Rom­ney raised more than $1 mil­lion per week from high-value con­trib­ut­ors dur­ing the last three weeks of Septem­ber, in­clud­ing a whop­ping $3.36 mil­lion dur­ing the fi­nal six days.

And, with the third-quarter clock tick­ing, Perry’s fun­drais­ing re­boun­ded as well. He raised $3.7 mil­lion dur­ing the fi­nal week of the quarter, his FEC re­ports show. His chal­lenge now is to keep it up.

What We're Following See More »
FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED BY MAJOR PARTY
Hillary Clinton Accepts the Democratic Nomination for President
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."

COUNTER-CHANTS AT THE READY
Protesters Make Good on Threat to Disrupt Speech
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"

SUFFOLK POLL
New Survey Shows Clinton Up 9 in Pennsylvania
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."

Source:
$500 MILLION PROJECT
Obama Library Heading to Jackson Park in Chicago
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."

Source:
THREE NIGHTS RUNNING
Democrats Beat Republicans in Convention Ratings So Far
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."

Source:
×