SUNDAY SHOW MEMO: Hey Mitt -- They’re Just Not That Into You
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Bill Burton, Priorities USA Action
RE: SUNDAY MEMO: Hey Mitt -- They’re Just Not That Into You
The list of Republican elected officials who’ve been dragged into considering the Presidential race this year isn’t short: Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, John Thune, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and now Chris Christie. They’ve all been courted not because of who they are but because of who they aren’t: Mitt Romney.
After spending over $100 million and five years running for President, Romney hasn’t been able to overcome the fact that Republican voters just aren’t that into him.
While Romney barely improved in national polling since September 2007, he quickly fell back to the teens when Perry first entered the race, highlighting the lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy. His standing in some key states has actually declined from four years ago, including Iowa and Nevada.
Major conservative leaders who endorsed Romney in 2008, including Jim DeMint and Nikki Haley, have notably declined to do so this year.
In fundraising, Romney has even fallen behind his last campaign’s pace. In the first quarter of his campaign in 2007, Romney raised $23.5 million. The first quarter of his campaign in 2011 was $18.2 million.
It can’t help Romney’s fundraising that the wealthiest money men in the Republican Party are publicly begging for the entrance of Christie, the 19-month New Jersey governor. If there were ever a natural constituency for Romney it should be fellow Republican investment bankers—but even they aren’t sold.
Mitt Romney may well end up the Republican nominee but it won’t be because the Republican Party wants him. They will have simply exhausted all other options.
Mitt Romney's current fundraising performance lags behind his own fundraising during his previous run for President. According to the Boston Globe, "During the first six months of his last campaign, he raised $35 million and also loaned himself $8.8 million. During the first six months of this campaign, he appears on pace to raise about $31 million." In his first fundraising quarter of the 2008 campaign, he raised $23.5 million versus$18.2 million for the first quarter of the 2012 campaign. [Boston Globe,9/29/11; Washington Post, 7/6/11]
Top Republicans Fundraisers are Searching for an Alternative to Mitt Romney. A recent article in the New York Times named Kenneth Langone, Paul Singer, David Koch, Charles Schwab, Stanley Druckenmiller, David Tepper and Daniel Loeb as not committed to a candidate for the 2012 cycle and privately urging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to join the race. According to the New York Times, "Meet the Draft Christie committee, a small but influential group of Republican-leaning donors and activists, many based in New York, united by a shared desire to see Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey run for president." [New York Times, 9/26/11]
Compared to his presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney is currently trailing his own standing during the last election cycle in Iowa. An average of four polls conducted among Iowa Republican voters in September of 2007 showed that Mitt Romney received 26% of Republican support. An average of three polls conducted in August 2011 reveals that Romney currently receives 18% of support. [American Research Group,9/26-9/29/07; Newsweek, 9/26-9/27/07; Strategic Visions, 9/21-9/23/07; LA Times/Bloomberg, 9/6-9/10/07; Rasmussen, 8/31/11; Magellan Strategies, 8/22-8/23/11; Public Policy Polling, 8/19-8/21/11] [Note: These are the three most recent public polls of the Iowa Caucus for the 2012 cycle.]
Current polling shows Mitt Romney far behind his 2008 victory in the Nevada caucuses. In 2008, Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses easily with 51.1% of the vote, 37 points ahead of the second place finisher. One poll has been conducted in Nevada during September 2011; Romney received 24% of support. [Real Clear Politics, 1/19/08; Magellan Strategies, 8/29-8/31/11]
Romney Failed to Gain in Polls After Even When Rivals Have Stumbled. According to the New York Times’ Nate Silver, “The polls suggest that Rick Perry’s struggles in the debate — amplified by a storm of skepticism among influential Republicans — have taken a bite out of his numbers. But the spoils seem to have gone mainly to other conservative candidates in the race, rather than Mr. Romney… you have a candidate in Mr. Romney who has run a very good campaign, who has performed well in the debates, and who leads in fund-raising and endorsements — but who is still barely above 20 percent in surveys, and has made only marginal gains as a number of his rivals have stumbled.” [New York Times, 9/29/11]