Money & Social Media: Romney Campaign Leads


OhMyGov! is a website that monitors the interconnection between media mentions and social media activity. Their analysis reveals that the Romney campaign is the most financially supported and in the best social media position at this point in the 2012 GOP presidential race:

Romney Leads GOP Race for Money and Social Media

[...]
First, as always, we concentrate on the money. According to his Federal Election Committee quarterly report for the period March – June 2011, the former Massachusetts Governor has over $18.3 million in donations to his credit. That puts him second only to President Obama in terms of money raised, and far ahead of the rest of the GOP field. Just for some perspective, Romney raised nearly half (46%) of all the money donated to major Republican candidates in the last quarter. No other candidate raised more than $4.5 million, putting Romney in an enviable financial position.

[...] According to OhMyGov, Romney accounts for nearly 45% of the Facebook audience for Republican candidates, and ranks highly on Twitter as well.

With more than a million Facebook fans, Romney is in a class by himself in the GOP field. The second most popular Facebook candidate is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has almost 620,000 fewer fans than Romney. [...]

It is not only the size of Romney’s share of the Facebook pie that is impressive, but the rate at which he’s picked up followers. During the 2nd quarter of 2011, Romney gained Facebook fans at an intimidating rate (188,000+), far ahead of rivals Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Hunstman. [...]

Surprised at who has the most Twitter followers?


So what can we glean from these numbers? Are Tea Party favorites like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann hot on the heels of establishment pick Mitt Romney? No, they probably aren’t. What one can begin to assume from these numbers however is that while some may go to Twitter for quick blurbs and sound-bites from entertaining characters (do you really think all of Sarah Palin’s followers actually like Sarah Palin?), they go to Facebook for news and updates on people they are legitimately interested in or support. Mitt Romney’s relative Facebook popularity is matched only by his undeniable financial support, a combination most candidates would take over 10,000 new Twitter followers any day.

(emphasis, italics added)

For further details, click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney: “Obama Failing to Lead on U.S. Economy”, 2nd Quarter GDP Stuck in the Muck

Economists held their breath awaiting the release of the Commerce Dept 2nd quarter GDP report. The grim news, 1.3% growth, reveals the U.S. economy is stuck in the muck.


Today’s Commerce Dept GDP report reveals the U.S. economy is stuck in the muck.

The 1.3% second quarter growth is almost the weakest recovery pace since the big recession officially ended two summers ago. We’re also a year out from the release of the Obama/Biden duet Summer of Recovery.

Economy grinds to halt as consumers pull back

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Consumers all but shut their wallets in the second quarter, causing the U.S. economy to grow at a tepid pace.

To make matters worse, growth in the first quarter was much slower than initially thought, according to new government figures released Friday.

It’s quite worrisome as the economy remains at stall speed in the second quarter,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets. “If that continues, then it would raise the risks of a double dip.”

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health, rose at an annual rate of 1.3% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said.

While that’s an increase from the revised 0.4% growth rate in the first three months of the year, it is hardly good news. The government originally reported that the economy grew at a 1.9% annualized rate in the first quarter.

(my emphasis)

● Note the revised growth for the first quarter of 2011. Will the already cheerless second quarter numbers also be revised?

Mitt Romney responds:

Tweet…

Today’s dismal GDP report once again shows @BarackObama is failing to lead on the economy mi.tt/pqn1Tw #ObamaIsntWorking

PRESIDENT OBAMA IS LEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

In Recent Days, President Obama And His Team Have Insisted We Are Headed In The Right Direction On The Economy:

President Obama, On The Economy: “I Think The Trajectory Is A Good One.”

OBAMA: “What people want to know is that we’re moving in the right direction, even if they’re frustrated with how fast we’re moving, we need to speed it up, but I think the trajectory is a good one.”

Treasury Secretary Geithner: America Is “Undeniably” In A Stronger Economic Position Today Than “Three Or Four Months” Ago. FOX’s CHRIS WALLACE: “You think you’re in a stronger position on the economy today than you were…” GEITHNER: “Oh, undeniably.” WALLACE: “…three or four months ago when you were growing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month?” GEITHNER: “Absolutely … The economy is growing. American businesses are investing again. Exports are getting stronger. That is all going well.”

Today’s Dismal GDP Report Confirms That President Obama’s Policies Aren’t Working:
Growth Estimates For The Second Quarter Badly Underperformed Economists’ Projections. “The U.S. economy grew less than forecast in the second quarter, after almost coming to a halt at the start of the year, as consumers retrenched. Gross domestic product rose at a 1.3 percent annual rate following a 0.4 percent gain in the prior quarter that was less than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 1.8 percent increase.”

• “Consumer Spending From April Through June Showed The Smallest Gain Since The Second Quarter Of 2009, When The Economy Was In Recession.”

The Government Also Issued Major Downward Growth Revisions For The Previous Two Quarters, Suggesting A “Troubling And Fundamental Slowdown Might Be Underway.” “The Commerce Department data on Friday also showed the current lull in the economy began earlier than had been thought, with the growth losing steam late last year. … First-quarter output was sharply revised down to a 0.4 percent pace from a 1.9 percent increase. … Fourth-quarter growth was revised to a 2.3 percent rate from 3.1 percent. … The sharp downward revisions to the prior quarters [suggests] a more troubling and fundamental slowdown might be underway.”

• “The U.S. Economy Came Perilously Close To Flat-Lining In The First Quarter…”

GDP Estimates Were Not This Morning’s Only Disappointing News:

Continue reading here.

● What economists are saying:

TIM GHRISKEY, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF SOLARIS ASSET MANAGEMENT IN BEDFORD HILLS, NEW YORK:

Everybody expected GDP to be weak for the second quarter, estimates had steadily come down, but this is a pretty shockingly low number. The revision to the first quarter is even more shocking.”

“Clearly this is evidence of a mid-cycle slowdown. The only question now is do we see a pick up in the second half and so far the economic data to date doesn’t suggest that.”

SCOTT BROWN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, RAYMOND JAMES, ST. PETERSBURG, FL

“The face value is certainly not great. The second quarter disappointed, but the first-quarter downward revision is more disturbing. It advances the pangs of concern. The debt ceiling nonsense is not going to help us. We’re already in an economy that is subpar.”

STEVE BLITZ, DIRECTOR AND SENIOR ECONOMIST, ITG NEW YORK

“The economy is weak, and it’s going to stay weak, and it’s going to stay weak for a while because we are in the process of deleveraging and this is what deleveraging looks like. To get the economy moving forward the way it should requires a reform of the tax code that will lower rates and broaden the base and favor investment over consumption. Efforts to try and put Humpty Dumpty back together again to have the economy we had before is not going to work.

“I’m not going to say there can’t be any growth in the second half of the year. Remember the fiscal stimulus has petered out. You don’t have the Fed’s QE2 pushing liquidity into the system and you have slower growth globally. It’s hard to add these things up and say that the U.S. economy is going to accelerate in the second half of the year.”

OMER ESINER, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, COMMONWEALTH FOREIGN EXCHANGE, WASHINGTON

“Very weak number in GDP. The headline was well below forecast and surprisingly we saw very large downward revision to Q1′s data. So it looks like a lot of this was driven by a sharp falloff in consumer spending in the second quarter, which only rose by 0.1 percent. Overall, a very weak number.




As we await the outcome of the debt ceiling debacle debate, the dreary GDP report increases the likelihood that America’s financial reputation will be downgraded. A weak economy means a greater deficit.

We need Mitt Romney’s leadership in the White House. Read his Seven Rules for Successful Economies here.


► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Hits Obama on China Trade Policy, Makes Huntsman Look Like Jonny-Come-Lately

Romney Gets Tough on China

I love the Romney camp’s recent focus on China and trade policy. It’s a super effective route to take at this point in the campaign for a few reasons: it correlates nicely with Mitt’s main jobs/economy theme — allowing him to hit one of Obama’s rarely mentioned weaknesses, all the while making Huntsman look like Jonny-come-lately (China being his supposed strong suit). Props to the strategy team at Romney for President for the timeliness of this rollout.


Below is an op-ed written by Romney’s Policy Director, Lanhee Chen:

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S RETREAT ON CHINA IS COSTING AMERICA JOBS

When he ran for president, candidate Obama said he would take China “to the mat” over its unfair trade practices – but instead he is the one being treated like a doormat.

China still does not play by the rules or provide an open and level playing field on which we can compete. In fact, the most recent data shows that while China continues to grow its economy rapidly, our exports to China are actually falling!

If Mitt is elected President, he will not tolerate this situation. He will get tough with China.

Make no mistake – Mitt is a strong believer in free trade and open markets. Opening new markets overseas creates new demand for American products and services, which in turn creates new jobs for American workers. As the world’s second largest economy, and one of the fastest growing, China offers incredible opportunities for American companies. If these companies are able to compete in the Chinese market, they will create countless jobs here at home.

Unfortunately, China is trying to deprive America of that opportunity. For too long, we have allowed China to take advantage of our goodwill and commitment to openness. We have opened our own markets to them, but we have gotten little in return. They steal our technology, manipulate their currency, and put up barriers that prevent us from competing. As a result, for every four dollars of goods China sells into our market, we are only able to sell one dollar’s worth into theirs. The resulting trade imbalance is the largest in the history of the world.

The company Mitt is visiting today, Screen Machine, is an example of the problem American companies face. Screen Machine represents the heart and soul of our economy and the potentially vibrant future of manufacturing in this country. Steel comes in one door. Incredibly advanced machines are driven out the other door by remote control, to be sold to countries around the world.

Selling to China is the biggest opportunity for Screen Machine to grow its sales and hire new workers – but they can’t. They worry that if they send their machines to China, then copies of the machines will start showing up around the world at knock-off prices. They already have seen websites in China that show pictures of their machines with the company logo blurred out. They can’t compete in an environment like that.

If we can confront China and persuade them to play by the rules, then companies like Screen Machine will be at the forefront of turning around our economy and creating the jobs Americans need.



-Luke Gunderson

Romney Campaign Beginning to Build in Broward Co, Florida


More groundwork is being laid for Governor Romney in Florida, a state that plays a critical role in the GOP’s presidential election cycle. Today’s news comes from Broward Co:

Mitt Romney campaign starts to take shape in Broward

Several Republican committeemen are forming the nucleus of the Mitt Romney for president campaign in Broward.

Chairman of the effort is David Di Pietro, an attorney with the Conrad & Scherer law firm. (One of those names, Bill Scherer, is a big time national Republican fundraiser.)

Joining Di Pietro as co-chairman is Bob Wolfe, founder and past president of the Lauderdale Beach Republican Club.

Rocky Rodriguez, Broward’s former appointed property appraiser, and Troy R. Samuels, a Miramar city commissioner, are on the executive committee. Rodriguez and Samuels were the co-chairmen of Romney’s 2008 campaign in Broward.

They haven’t yet had an official rollout from the Romney campaign, but they’ve already been meeting, had a table set up Monday night outside the Broward Republican Party’s monthly meeting, and Di Pietro announced the group to party committeemen and committeewomen.
[...]
I think it says a lot about Mitt’s campaign that we’re already organized,” Di Pietro told the Republican Party. “I believe Mitt Romney is the only candidate in our primary who can beat President Obama.”

(my emphasis)

Show your support for ‘Broward for Mitt’ on Facebook and Twitter.

(One tweet: “Exciting meeting with Broward’s Team Romney tonight! Let the partying (and work) begin!”)

Romney named Brian Ballard as his Florida Finance Co-Chair on July 13th. Recent polls show Romney is winning among his GOP competitors in The Sunshine State. He also leads Obama there by 46% to 42%.


► Jayde Wyatt

More Rhode Island Endorsements for Mitt Romney


Along with the endorsement for Mitt Romney from former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, a long list of RI politicians have also given the ‘thumbs-up’ for The Gov:

The Providence Journal

Machtley, Jackvony, Avedisian back Romney for president

[...]
Former U.S. Rep. Ron Machtley, now president of Bryant University

Former Lt. Gov. Bernard Jackvony

Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere

State Rep. and Republican National Committeeman Joseph Trillo

2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille

2010 Republican congressional candidate Mark Zaccaria

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian

State Sen. Beth Moura

State Sen. Christopher Ottiano

State Rep. Larry Ehrhardt

State Rep. Daniel Reilly

Former chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party Gio Cicione

Former first vice chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party John Harpootian

Former executive director of the Rhode Island Republican Party Jeff Deckman

Bristol Republican Town Committee Chair Thomas Carroll

Coventry Republican Town Committee Chair Charles M. Vacca Jr.

Foster Republican Town Committee Chair Richard Grant

Lincoln Republican Town Committee Chair Michael Napolitano

North Providence Republican Town Committee Chair Michael Grossi

North Smithfield Republican Town Committee Chair Alex Biliouris

West Warwick Republican Town Committee Chair Giovanni Calise

Former Newport City Republican Town Committee Chair Brennan Daniels

Excellent!


► Jayde Wyatt

New Romney Video: No More Bull in the China Shop

As Jared reported, Mitt will be in Ohio today touring a manufacturing plant.

That plant, Screen Machine, is featured in the Romney’s latest web video. The message highlights President Obama’s lack of leadership in dealing with China:

The video reminds me of that rather obscure metaphorical expression, “a bull in the china shop“.

Bull in a China Shop

Bull in a China Shop - Image: FreakingNews.com

-Luke G.


UPDATE by Jayde @12:26 PM PT – Tweet from Mitt:


Thanks everyone for coming out to the @screenmachine factory today. Enjoyed the tour & speaking with all of you http://t.co/oGYxDtVless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Mitt Romney speaks about jobs and export trade policy at a large crowd at Screen Machines Industries, Inc. headquarters in Pataskala, Ohio. Screen Machines is a family-owned American manufacturing business. July 27, 2011

UPDATE 2 by Jayde @2:55 PM PT – Another Mitt tweet:


Ohio has lost roughly 100,000 payroll jobs since @BarackObama took office http://t.co/jarT1iZ #ObamaIsntWorkingless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply


Mitt Romney in Ohio: Former Ohio Governor George Voinovich To Endorse Romney, Touring Manufacturing Co

A tweet from FOX News TV Host Greta Van Susteren alerted us that former Ohio Governor and Senator George V. Voinovich will formally give his endorsement to Mitt Romney today (tweet enlarged; sent Jul 26, 2011 @8:35 PM ET):

BIG NEWS FOR GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY! Fox News has confirmed that former GOP Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio will endorse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for president on Wednesday in Ohio during Romney’s visit to the important 2012 battle ground state.

George Voinovich is endorsing former MA Governor Mitt Romney. 7/27/11

Voinovich’s endorsement is significant; he has a very impressive resume of service (from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress):


Senate years of service: 1999-2011
Party: Republican
VOINOVICH, George Victor
, a Senator from Ohio; born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 15, 1936; B.A. in government, Ohio University 1958; J.D., Ohio State University College of Law 1961; assistant attorney general of Ohio 1963; Ohio state representative 1967-71; lieutenant governor of Ohio 1979; mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, 1979-89; governor of Ohio 1991-1998; chairman of the National Governors Association 1997-1998; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1998; reelected in 2004, and served from January 3, 1999, to January 3, 2011; chair, Select Committee on Ethics (One Hundred Ninth Congress); was not a candidate for reelection to the Senate in 2010.

Van Susteren’s tweet referred to Romney’s tour of an American manufacturing company today in the Buckeye State where he’ll be discussing jobs:

Presidential Candidate Governor Mitt Romney to Visit Screen Machine Industries, Inc.

Screen Machine Industries, Inc. (SMI) is proud to announce that on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 1:15 p.m., the front running Republican Presidential Candidate Governor Mitt Romney will visit the Screen Machine Industries headquarters in Pataskala, Ohio.

Romney’s factory visit is to promote his export trade policy during a press conference as a key tenet of his presidential race for the White House. Specifically, Mr. Romney’s campaign has chosen the venue of SMI as the quintessential American – family-owned manufacturing business. Our factory will serve as the stage and backdrop to highlight and promote his major economic job creation “jump-start” program for reinvigorating American Manufacturing for Export.

Continue reading here.

Governor Romney has picked up several endorsements from current and former Governors. Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri will also officially give his endorsement to Romney and will help him raise money at an upcoming fundraiser. A few weeks ago, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman endorsed Romney as well.

Congratulations to Governor Romney!

Exit Question: Is Ohio Gov. John Kasich going to be endorsing Mitt?

Pawlenty NH Steering Committee Member, State Rep Shaun Doherty, Resigns to Help Mitt Romney


Pawlenty’s loss, Romney’s gain…



DROPPING PAWLENTY

State Rep. Shaun Doherty, R-Pelham, says he still likes and respects GOP presidential candidate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but he’s frustrated with the lack of New Hampshire activity by his campaign.

As a result, Doherty told the Granite Status, he’s resigned from Pawlenty’s New Hampshire steering committee and has decided to back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Doherty was one of the original eight Granite Staters named to the Pawlenty steering committee in April.

He said today that since then, he’s shown up at some events and has called friends and his own supporters on Pawlenty’s behalf, but has not been asked to do anything specific by the campaign.

“I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for Tim Pawlenty,” said the 23-year-old second-term lawmaker, who four years ago was the state youth chairman for John McCain’s New Hampshire campaign.

“The campaign hasn’t really developed into what I thought it would develop into,” Doherty said. “They’re doing a lot of really good things but it doesn’t seem to be working. And their not quite capitalizing on the momentum that they had with their launch.

They haven’t capitalized on their opportunities. It just hasn’t developed.”

Doherty said Romney “is running a very strong campaign in New Hampshire and I feel I’d like to participate in that campaign.”

Pawlenty has not been to New Hampshire since the June 13 presidential debate, spending almost all of his time in first-caucus state Iowa leading up to the Aug. 13 Ames, Iowa GOP presidential straw poll

“But that’s not the only real factor. There were a lot of small things,” he said.

Doherty is the second state House member to have expressed frustration with Pawlenty in the past week.

We spoke last week with Rep. Win Hutchinson, R-Manchester, who told us he briefly considered bolting the Pawlenty camp out of frustration with Pawlenty’s initial comments about Michele Bachmann’s migraine headaches, but then reconsidered and decided to stay on board, at least for now.

(my emphasis)

Welcome aboard, Shaun!

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney in Rhode Island: Fundraiser & Endorsement From Former RI Gov Donald Carcieri


The Gov will be in Rhode Island this evening…

Supporters of Mitt Romney in Newport, Rhode Island, Les and Carol Ballard, are co-hosting a fundraising reception for him tonight. Also co-hosting tonight’s event is former Governor of The Ocean State, Donald Carcieri, and former First Lady Sue Carcieri.

Governor Carcieri has announced that he will endorse Mitt Romney:

July 25, 2011

Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri will endorse Republican Mitt Romney for president, according to Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams.

The confirmation is unsurprising, considering the ex-Republican governor is slated to co-host a fundraiser for Romney in Newport on Tuesday evening that the campaign says will be closed to the media.

Former Rhode Island Gov Donald L Carcieri will endorse Mitt Romney.

Carcieri also endorsed Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, in his bid for president in the 2008 election.

Last year, Romney returned the favor somewhat by helping fundraise for Carcieri’s chosen successor to the governor’s office — John Robitaille, who eventually lost.

Romney, who formally announced his candidacy in June, will look to bolster an $18.3-million campaign war chest that, so far, dwarfs that of other potential Republican candidates, but is still far behind the $45.4 million that President Obama has raised for his reelection campaign, according to federal campaign finance reports.

Romney has collected about $14,300 from Rhode Island donors, the most of any other Republican candidate in the Ocean State, but again behind Obama’s more than $53,000 haul, according to FEC reports.

Tuesday’s fundraiser represents the first public appearance in Rhode Island by a presidential candidate for the 2012 election cycle. [...]

(my emphasis)

Rhode Island suffers from the third highest unemployment rate in the nation at 10.8% (CA is at 11.8% and NV is at 12.4 %). Their housing market continues to falter. (A Commerce Dept. report released today reveals that new home sales fell 1% in June; the northeast and parts of the west continue to be hit particularly hard.)

Romney is also attending a fundraising luncheon billed as ‘Lawyers for Romney’ in Washington D.C. today:

The former Massachusetts governor will attend a “Lawyers for Romney” luncheon at the powerhouse lobbying firm Patton Boggs, according to an invitation nabbed by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation. The host committee includes former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Ben Ginsberg, who served as counsel to Mr. Romney’s campaign in 2008 and to President George W. Bush’s two campaigns.

UPDATE July 27, 2011 – ‘Photo of the Day’ at MittRomney.com

Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri & former RI First Lady, his wife Suzanne, pose with Romney at an event in Newport, RI. July 26, 2011


► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Leaks VP Shortlist: Rubio, Christie, and McDonnell

This is — no doubt — entirely speculation, but I saw it and thought it was interesting and maybe worth some discussion:

Former Massachussets governor and presidential aspirant Mitt Romney was in Virginia Beach yesterday attending a fundraiser at the home of State Sen. Jeff McWaters.
[...]
Romney said that McDonnell has been an “incredible governor” and will be on “any candidate’s short-list” for Vice President. Now, considering that the candidate was in Virginia Beach – effectively McDonnell’s hometurf, that statement should be taken with a grain of sand. But he reiterated that the short list is “McDonnell, Governor Christie of New Jersey and Marco Rubio of Florida.”

Personally, I’d be happy with any of ‘em — but my preference would be: 1st Christie, 2nd Rubio, and 3rd McDonnell. What do you think?


-Luke G.

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