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Palin’s fundraising falls way short

By KIM DIXON
July 16, 2011

Sarah Palin: Is the party over? (Reuters)

The primary fundraising committee for Sarah Palin, who is considering whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination, raised a paltry $1.6 million in the first half of 2011 in a sign that she is not attracting big funds for a presidential run.

“That is peanuts,” said Jan Baran, a partner at Wiley, Rein and former general counsel of the Republican National Committee. “It doesn’t signify that there is a reservoir of financial support for her.”

The former Alaska governor, who was John McCain’s vice presidential running mate on the Republicans’ unsuccessful 2008 ticket, has said she will decide within months on whether to pursue the nomination.

The figures in a regulatory filing also are troubling because rules allow donors to give more to political action committees than to presidential committees, which the declared candidates are using, Baran said.

The money raised by Palin’s political action committee SarahPAC is small in comparison to the $18.25 million that Republican front-runner Mitt Romney‘s presidential committee collected in the second quarter alone.

Several other contenders to take on Democratic President Barack Obama next year have raised more than $4 million in the quarter. But Palin may need less money at the start of a presidential run because she is already well-known.

Still, she will need significantly more than $1 million to hire staff and travel the country should she enter the race, Baran said.

The appeal of Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, may be usurped by Representative Michele Bachmann, another star of the conservative Tea Party movement who appeals to some of the same anti-Republican establishment voters.

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