GOP Nominees Faced with Financial Woes - Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week 13

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The Road to the White House is a costly one and as the process approaches mid-primary season, funding for the GOP Presidential primary campaigns are suffering from a shortfall of the single most important element needed: Money.

 USA Today Political Poll Tracker as of March 31, 2012 places Romney, leading the pack in popularity, nationally, gaining .9 percentage points over the week, at the top with 37.8%. Santorum, holding steady in the number two spot dropped .4 percentage points with 28.2%, Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, dropped 1.4 percentage points over the past week coming in at 14.3 % and Texas Representative Ron Paul gained 1.1 percentage points to end at 11.8%.

As money woos are on the agenda for the week, a major source of funding for each of the Republican Presidential hopefuls are, Political Action Committees, or Super PAC’s, which can raise unlimited funds to support the political aspirations of any candidate.  Of the over four hundred Super PAC’s on record eight support former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign,  two support chief rival former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, four support former Speaker of the House Newt  Gingrich and Texas Representative Ron Paul is supported by six.

GOP Presidential front runner Mitt Romney is primarily fueled by the Super-Pac Restore Our Future, which has raised in excess of $43 million through private donation, wealthy contributors and individual gifts who believe in his platform and are willing to donate funding to keep his campaign going. Mitt’s Money Machine has spent over $38 million and out spent each candidate in every state to secure his bid as the Republican Presidential Candidate.

Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Romney’s chief challenger, also has Super Pac funding. Foster Freiss, the outspoken billionaire, has contributed heavily through Red, White & Blue. At $15.7 million, Santorum is not even close to the Romney money machine. Santorum is fueled also by private funds from individuals and, like all candidates who raise at minimum $5 thousand in each of twenty states, eligible to receive matching government funds.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s Presidential bid is hurting financially even with backing from the Super-Pac Winning Our Future, that has raised in excess of $18 million to fund his campaign. With a cash reserve of $1.5 million and an equal amount in debt Gingrich, in order to stay in the campaign has, in the past week, laid off half his team including his campaign manager and opted to utilize the various forms of free resources, including launching social media campaigns and leveraging personal friendships to keep his campaign alive. Gingrich has taken two states in the primary process, South Carolina and Georgia and has twenty years experience in political office.

He conceded earlier in the week should Romney secure the delegates before the Republican Convention in August, he would pledge his support to unify the party.

Six Super-Pac’s have publically pledged support to Texas Representative Ron Paul. Endorse Liberty, the primary support for Paul’s Political Campaign has raised over three million. With skyrocketing costs and even his grass roots support it’s a tough road. As recent as March 31, 2012, donors are continuing to support the beleaguered candidate who raised an additional $1.1 million. Paul’s, most important victory in this primary process was the battle of Virginia, in which he captured over 40% of the vote. With the Texas primary looming, Ron Paul could capture a big win and knock the wind, momentarily, out of the Romney machine.

Funding for Presidential Campaigns are also fueled by that little presidential check off box on tax forms.  Created in 1976, donations from the public through federal tax forms has hit an all time low with only 6.6% of tax payers participating in the electoral process through tax donations.

All monies raised for a presidential primary election can be potentially matched by public donation program. Candidates may apply for eligibility any time but no monies can be paid out until January of the election year. Three former presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, received matching funds of at least $20 million each over the course of the public funding program.

Primaries in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Wisconsin will be held on April 3rd.

The 2012 Delegate Tracker, of the 2286 total available delegates, Mitt Romney has secured 568, Rick Santorum 273, Newt Gingrich, 135 and Ron Paul 50. To secure the Republican Nomination for President a candidate must receive 1,144 delegates.

 

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