Saturday, February 19, 2011

Will Newt be able to raise enough money?

One of the question marks some have about a possible Gingrich run is that he wouldn't be able to raise enough money. I think this is an unfounded complaint, unlike the questions if he could be disciplined enough to stay on message. I think he would be much more able to stay on his talking points than in the past, but I think it's a legitimate point.

But when it comes to raising money, few are as good as Newt, as the Washington Post reports.

He wouldn't be able write a very large check to himself like Mitt Romney could, but American Solutions itself has, according to many, a contact list with two million names. 300,000 of those gave less than $200 dollars. That is 90% of the contributors to the group, which can accept unlimited funds. A common refrain from critics is that the amount of money that it raised does not mean much going forward since Presidential campaigns cannot accept anything over $2,400 in each of the primary and general elections.

That argument is rendered moot if 300,000 gave less than $200. Furthermore, if that many were willing to give for simply issue advocacy, not electoral purposes, how many more will give to a Gingrich campaign?

Of the 2 million names and deep fundraising base, the Post writes, "The resources could give Gingrich a major advantage in the GOP field, which includes several hopefuls who have relatively little experience with national fundraising."

If all the reports are true -- and Gingrich is a candidate by March -- the question, "Can he win the Republican nomination?" will be more dependent on the matter of his message discipline, rather than money.

(For more on Gingrich's finances, check out an earlier post of mine:

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