In past election years, Republican candidate could always depend on the deep pockets of loyalists to give them a financial edge.
Leading Democratic Presidential contenders are outraising Republican hopefuls and the shortfall in campaign cash is affecting other GOP campaigns as well.
Public dissatisfaction over the failed war in Iraq and other dismal policies of the faltering GOP is blamed for most of the dropoff in contributions but others point to the Internet as a Democratic cash cow.
Writes Michael D. Shear of The Washington Post:
Campaign contributors to the 2008 presidential candidates heavily favored Democrats in the three-month period that ended Saturday, giving three dollars to the party’s leading contenders for every two dollars they gave to the top Republican candidates.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s 258,000 contributors since January exceed the combined number of donors of former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), according to estimates provided by the campaigns.
Romney announced yesterday that he has lent his campaign $6.5 million from his personal fortune to supplement the $14 million he raised from April through June. Giuliani’s campaign said it raised about $15 million during the quarter. Last week, McCain announced a dramatic staff shake-up after raising only $11 million, leaving him with just $2 million in the bank.
During the quarter, Obama (Ill.) raised $32.5 million, $31 million of which can be used in the primaries. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) raised $21 million for the primaries and a total of about $27 million in the same period.
The fundraising results continued a striking reversal of fortunes for Democratic presidential hopefuls, who have often labored with less money than their Republican counterparts.
“Clearly, that’s a reflection on the war and a reflection of the past,” said Alex Castellanos, Romney’s media consultant. “There’s a lot of pent-up disappointment in the Republican Party on issues like spending. It’s not just the administration, being unable to keep its promises . . . since we’re the guys in charge, we pay a price for that.”