Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mixed Signals from Romney

I kept hearing over the weekend from former Governor Mitt Romney's spokespeople how well fundraising is going for the presidential candidate during his efforts at Fenway Park and TD Banknorth Garden. But, if his fundraising were as good as his they make it out to be, why then is Romney dumping his own money into his campaign account?

Mitt's explanation is that he's not as well known as the other leading candidates -- after all Rudy Guiliani and John McCain are national figures and lurking in the wings is Fred Thompson with his Law and Order exposure. Because of that, it's necessary for him to spend money to introduce him to the people of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in a way that the other candidates don't have to.

Of course, it might just be that Mitt's second quarter fundraising isn't living up to his high Q1 numbers. After all, the first quarter is when you get all your friends, relatives and other supporters to max out. The second quarter is a much better test of how you're able to convince people you're worth giving money to. Still, Romney's burn rate remains very high, and he's spending funds as fast as he can raise them. Romney has hundreds of millions of dollars at his disposal; it will be instructive to see how much he's willing to put toward his candidacy.

Either way, we'll find out after Friday, when the second-quarter fund-raising effort ends.