Romney’s Campaign Figures Don’t Add Up

by Joye Barksdale  |  February 22, 2012

President campaign individual donation chart
Chart courtesy Talking Points Memo

Mitt Romney’s campaign is proving that while money can’t buy you love, it can buy a whole lot of ads. But they come at a tremendous cost: His campaign spent more in January than it brought in. According to spending reports, Romney’s Presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting him raised $13.1 million in January, but spent $32.7 million. Maybe Romney needs a refresher course in Accounting 101.

When it comes to fundraising, he is particularly weak among small donors, the people who provide small, but often regular, donations to a campaign. Although they don’t have deep pockets, these donors are a good barometer of how broad a candidate’s support is among regular folks. They tend to be enthusiastic door-knockers and phone-bankers, and they can contribute multiple times without ever reaching limits on contributions to federal candidates.

It’s no surprise that small donors are Romney’s Achilles’ heel. After all, he’s made countless comments that make it clear working families are not among his favorite constituents. One of the most telling was “corporations are people.”  

In contrast, small donors are the backbone of President Obama’s campaign. In fact, nearly half of what his campaign raised in 2011 came from individuals giving $200 or less.

If Romney faces Obama in the general election, the former Massachusetts governor better hope that the Supreme Court rules that corporations can grow legs, walk into the voting booth and cast ballots for him. Those may be the only votes Romney can count on. 

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