Inquiring Minds Want to Know: How Much 2nd Quarter Money did Romney Raise?


Hope everyone had a fantastic July 4th weekend

We’ll jump right in today with a look at how Mitt Romney’s second quarter fundraising is fodder for speculation:

TheHill.com – Romney’s war chest sets Republican fundraising yardstick

The strength of Mitt Romney’s war chest — expected to be between $15 million and $20 million — will be the yardstick against which other GOP presidential candidates’ are measured.

The former Massachusetts governor’s official second-quarter haul will become known in the next few weeks. He faced high expectations after having raised $10 million in pledges during a single day of calls, which his campaign sought to tamp down on.

Regardless, the front-running candidate is expected to outpace his rivals when it comes to fundraising.

Only three GOP presidential contenders — former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) and pizza magnate Herman Cain (R) — have released their second-quarter numbers; none of them came close to Romney’s suspected haul.

Pawlenty raised $4.2 million, a figure considered relatively disappointing for a candidate of his stature, while Huntsman raised $4.1 million, a figure padded in part by self-contributions from his personal fortune. Cain said last week that he’d raised just under $2.5 million.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) have yet to release their numbers.

Bachmann turned heads earlier this year after boasting that her combined funds (from her congressional campaign and her PAC) were greater than Romney’s first-quarter haul. She’s unlikely to come close to repeating that this quarter, but as she surges in the polls, her fundraising report could provide some indication of her traction.

By contrast, Gingrich’s report will provide some indication of just how much his campaign was crippled by the departure of top aides and finance officials in the last month. He set low expectations over the weekend, telling the Los Angeles Times that his numbers “will not be as good as we would like, and candidly, the consultants left us in debt.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was a fundraising machine during his 2008 presidential campaign, drawing on the fervor of grassroots supports to fund his so-called “money bombs.” His quarterly filing will be a test of whether those intense supporters will still drive his 2012 effort, financially and otherwise.

And, in terms of possible candidates, observers will be watching former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) Sarah PAC for signs of strength, especially after the bus tour she took last month that received heavy media attention, along with a revamped website and online operation for the PAC.

However, the combined totals of all the GOP contenders are unlikely to come close to President Obama’s second-quarter total. His campaign set a $60 million goal but hasn’t released its official haul.

(emphasis added)

For details on fundraising for Senate candidates continue reading here.

By the way, Bachmann’s first-quarter fundraising wasn’t all she hyped it to be.

Whatever Romney’s second quarter fundraising numbers are, Restore Our Future PAC, a recently created super PAC formed by independent Romney supporters, should give The Gov additional heft.

UPDATE: Pro Romney Super PAC raises $12 million

Restore Our Future, a so-called “Super PAC”organized by former political aides to Mitt Romney and designed to help him in the 2012 presidential race, collected $12 million in the first six months of 2011.

“There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney,” said Charlie Spies, one of the PAC’s founders. “Americans are coming out in support of Governor Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around.”
[...]
The pro-Romney super PAC is the only one of its kind in the Republican race. The PAC has not yet said how or where it will spend its money but given the involvement of McCarthy it seems likely that Restore Our Future will focus on television ads.



► Jayde Wyatt

Update from Ross
Romney Raises More Than All His Republican Contenders Combined

State Rep. Renee Schulte makes some interesting observations as well.

The Important Q2 Fundraising Deadline is June 30th 11:59 PM EST: The MittRomney.com Store Opens Just in Time

On Thursday, June 30th, we reach this year’s first major fundraising deadline. The Obama campaign along with his Democratic allies plan to run a billion dollar operation to reelect the President.

Recently, President Obama said, “I’m extraordinarily proud of the economic record that we were able to produce over the first two and half years.” Yet, last month, over 20 million Americans were out of work, underemployed, or had just quit looking for work — not to mention the fact that our nation faces record deficits and a national debt that will soon surpass our GDP. Extraordinarily proud?

We need a president who understands how markets work; we need a president who knows how jobs are created; and we need a president who will focus on fixing the economy from day one. Clearly, Obama isn’t working. The campaign needs our help to put America’s focus back on the American people.

By making a contribution before Thursday, your support will help show that this campaign is ready to challenge Obama and the Democrats who wish to continue down the same path we’ve traveled the last two and half years.

Donate to the campaign today and help Mitt change America’s course and spread Mitt’s message and vision for a working America.

Gov. Romney cannot run a successful campaign without our help and others like us. Join the team today, stand with Mitt, and donate. Click here to contribute today to receive a Stand with Mitt t-shirt for a friend or family member.

Also, not to be confused with the MRC Store which helps offset the costs of hosting this site, the Official Mitt Romney for President Campaign Store has been launched! Some really cool stuff there and since your purchase counts as a donation to the campaign, today and tomorrow are great days to make your purchase to pad Mitt’s Q2 fundraising totals.

Finally, check out the latest from MittRomney.com:

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIDES WITH UNIONS INSTEAD OF IOWA WORKERS

-and-

NEW HAMPSHIRE IS OUT OF PATIENCE

Romney Talks Jobs & Economy Before Big Crowd in Utah

'Photo of the Day' on Mitt Romney's website features picture taken by MRC's own Luke Gunderson at Romney's event held at Hires Big H fast food restaurant in Salt Lake City, UT. Mitt and Ann Romney are standing in a pick-up bed in the background. June 24, 2011

Things were hopping at Hires Big H in Salt Lake City, Utah yesterday!

Mitt and Ann Romney, accompanied by sons Josh and Craig, were in town to address a throng of excited supporters prior to holding a hamburger ‘n fries roundtable discussion for small business owners at a locally owned fast food restaurant.

The event marked Governor Romney’s first official visit to The Beehive State since announcing his presidential candidacy.

Deseret News:

SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney couldn’t resist grabbing a few more French fries as he was leaving a campaign stop Friday at Hires Big H that included a meeting with local business and political leaders.

The front-runner in the GOP presidential race jokingly explained after posing for a photo with one of the hundreds of supporters who turned out to see him that he didn’t smile because he was still chewing.

It was the rare moment during his nearly 90-minute appearance that the former leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City wasn’t beaming back at the crowd gathered at the popular drive-in to cheer on his second White House bid.

“Mitt not Jon,” someone chanted briefly as Romney shook hands, posed for pictures and hugged children after delivering a speech from the bed of a red Dodge pickup truck that criticized President Barack Obama for failing America, especially on the economy.

“The American people are struggling,” Romney said. “We need to have a president who has had a job if we’re going to be able to create jobs. I’m excited and anxious to get America growing again, to put people back to work.”

There was no mention in the speech of the other Republican candidate running for president who shares Romney’s Mormon faith and ties to Utah, former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Asked whether he thought Huntsman’s entry into the race would affect his popularity in Utah, Romney told the Deseret News, “It’s great to be back in Utah, to be campaigning here. I’ve got great support. Jon is a friend, and I wish him the very best.”
[...]
Huntsman also had a Friday fundraiser scheduled but moved the Alta Club event to Tuesday. The former governor and U.S. ambassador to China is also expected to hold a public event that will be announced Monday.

(emphasis added)

Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell was among the roundtable participants.

Romney also attended an earlier fundraiser held in a private home in Orem, Utah and an evening reception at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.




Luke Gunderson’s Photo of the Day is featured here. Way to go, Luke!


► Jayde Wyatt

‘Super PAC’ Formed on Romney’s Behalf to Counteract Similar Obama PAC


An independent group of prominent Romney supporters, who believe in his unique abilities to restore America, have launched a super PAC, entitled Restore Our Future PAC. The purpose of the new PAC is to fundraise and spend money to help elect Governor Romney, with plans to go toe-to-toe with a similar already-operating super PAC for Obama (created by his White House aides):

Romney backers launch super PAC

[...] Restore Our Future PAC, spearheaded by several prominent GOP strategists, is the latest in an expanding list of new groups that have formed to take advantage of court rulings allowing corporations, unions and tycoons to spend millions of dollars on elections without restrictions.

The development provides further evidence that Romney is shaping up as the candidate to beat in the GOP money race, and underscores the extensive role that well-funded outside groups are likely to play in the 2012 elections.

The new pro-Romney PAC aims to go head-to-head with Priorities USA Action, a similar super PAC led by former White House aides in support of President Obama. But Restore Our Future PAC could also be used to go after other Republicans if necessary in the contentious GOP primary season, those familiar with the operation said.

The group has been actively soliciting donations in recent weeks, but organizers declined to say how much has been raised.

“This is an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president,” said Charles R. Spies, the super PAC’s treasurer, who served as Romney’s general counsel in 2008. “We will do that by focusing on jobs and his ability to fix the economy.”
[...]
Gail Gitcho, the Romney campaign’s communications director, said outside support was welcome given the existence of Democratic super PACs and predictions that the Obama campaign could raise as much as $1 billion for his reelection.

“We are pleased that independent groups will be active in fighting this entrenched power so the country can get back to work,” Gitcho said.

Restore Our Future PAC’s board of directors is comprised of Spies; Carl Forti, Romney’s 2008 political director; and Larry McCarthy, a member of the Romney media team in 2008.

Obama supporters, including Harry Reid, are actively raising money with additional super PACS to defeat Republicans:

In addition to Priorities USA, Democratic operatives have launched two other super PACs to help House (House Majority PAC) and Senate candidates (Majority PAC). The groups are also enlisting the aid of current Democratic leaders to help raise money.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent out a letter on behalf of Majority PAC, which includes several former top Reid aides.

“There can be no greater priority than protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate,” Reid wrote in a fundraising e-mail, which was first reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. “I’m writing to introduce you to a group solely devoted to leveling the playing field and protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate: Majority PAC.”

(emphasis added)

Continue reading here.


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Speaking of Harry Reid…

The Senate Majority Leader took a jab at Mitt Romney on Monday by stating that he would support Jon Huntsman – over Romney – for the Republican presidential nomination. (He said a few other things, as well.)

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom replied:

[blackbirdpie id="83281626607529985"]



► Jayde Wyatt

Romney’s Message ‘Believe in America’ Resonating in California

Mitt Romney holds up personalized surf board presented to him by CA Congresssman Dave Rohrabachr (R) during campaign stop in Orange CO, CA. Jan 31, 2008


Mitt Romney inspired donors to believe in America yesterday in sunny California. They responded with cash for The Gov to carry on:

Lunch in Sacramento:

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney made a swing through downtown Sacramento on Tuesday for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser luncheon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

“It’s good to be back in California,” the former Massachusetts governor said as he greeted supporters in the hotel lobby.

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who is serving as adviser and finance chairwoman for Romney’s campaign, mingled in the hotel lobby with lawmakers and supporters before the event.
[...]
[...]State legislators were on hand to hobnob at the reception and lunch, including Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton, Sens. Bob Huff, Sam Blakeslee, Tony Strickland and Mark Wyland and Assembly members Paul Cook and Jim Silva.

Romney largely ignored questions from a reporter – an aide said he would not make comments to the press because it was a “private event” – but he responded briefly when asked about former U.S. Ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s announcement that he would enter the GOP primary fray.

“The more the merrier,” Romney said.

(emphasis added)

Dinner in Bay Area:

[...]
On a warm Tuesday evening, Romney visited a Portola Valley barbeque and fundraiser.

A campaign volunteer called it a “low key event,” but an event flier made it clear that admission was far from low: donors were expected to give between $1,000 and $10,000.

The barbeque was at the home of Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy. During the event, McNealy tweeted 200 supporters were there for food and whiffle ball.
[...]
Supporters such as Coleman Andrews of Danville said Romney has what it takes to defeat President Obama.

“We were business partners for many years; co-founders of Bing [Bain] Capital together and I’ve had a chance to watch him in business, the Olympics, governor of Massachusetts and have a high regard for his leadership,” said Andrews.

When Romney ran for president in 2008, he raised more money in California than any other state with $8 million.

(emphasis added)


Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Coming to Denver Area on Monday – I’ll be there!

There is good news for fans of Mitt Romney in the Denver area! The Governor will be making his first visit to Colorado since announcing his candidacy on June 2nd.

After two events in Idaho, Mitt will be heading over to Brewery Bar IV, a local Mexican restaurant in Aurora, on Monday afternoon. This event is just down the road from my house so I will definitely be there! Any supporters are invited to come to this free public event — and I look forward to meeting some of you there:

  • Be there at 4:30 P.M.
  • The Brewery Bar IV is at 6482 S. Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80016. Click here for a map.
  • I currently don’t have much more information than that, but anyone is welcome to contact me with questions at dave@mittromneycentral.com.

  • The meet and greet in Aurora is only one of four events for Governor Romney on Monday. Immediately after leaving Brewery Bar IV, Mitt will be attending a fundraiser at the home of a prominent supporter (unfortunately no, it’s not me) in Cherry Hills Village. It’s not surprising that he would visit Colorado early on in the primary season. The Denver Post wrote:

    Romney proved popular in the West in the 2008 presidential primaries. He carried five Western states, including Colorado, where he beat eventual nominee John McCain 59 percent to 19 percent in Colorado’s GOP presidential caucuses while raising millions of dollars in the region.

    Romney made five visits to the state during the 2008 run.


    Bronco Stadium, Boise ID

    As I mentioned earlier, Mitt will begin his busy day in Idaho. First, the GOP front-runner will be attending a breakfast fundraiser at Bronco Stadium in Boise. The stadium is the home of the Boise State University football team and their infamous blue “smurf turf” field. Next on Governor Romney’s itinerary is a luncheon at the Snow Eagle Brewery in Idaho Falls. Mitt has already received the endorsements of two Idaho politicians for 2012: U.S. Senator Jim Risch and Congressman Mike Simpson.

    These fundraising events, and others like it throughout his June cross-country tour, will add to Mitt’s already impressive 2nd quarter financial totals. The final numbers for this fiscal quarter will be available in July.


    -Dave P.

    Mitt Romney Talks JOBS in Georgia

    Mitt Romney takes a bite of Key Lime pie while listening to Kenny Burts, owner of Kenny's Great Pies, in Smyrna, GA. 6/16/11


    On to Georgia…

    After three full days of campaigning and fundraising in Florida, Mitt Romney made his way to Georgia yesterday.

    A listening tour of small business Kenny’s Great Pies, in Smyrna, afforded The Gov the opportunity to meet hard-working Georgians and sample their tasty wares. Then, it was on to Atlanta for an evening fundraiser.

    CBS Atlanta:

    The front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination worked to cook-up support in Georgia Thursday.

    Mitt Romney toured Kenny’s Great Pies, a dessert manufacturer in Smyrna.

    The owner wants to expand but said it’s been a challenge to even stay afloat with the poor economy.

    “People are out of work; the deficit’s unbelievable. People have lost their jobs,” said Kenny Burts, the owner.

    After touring the plant, Romney ate Key Lime Pie and attended a round-table discussion with Burts and other business leaders. It also included Sam Olens, Georgia Attorney General.

    Romney said the first step to improving the economy is making it easier for banks to loan money.

    “You don’t so overburden the financial sector that it can’t do the job it’s intended to do, which is to make loans to small business and put people back to work,” said Romney.

    Romney said his number one priority is putting people back to work.

    (emphasis added)

    Cooking up support in Georgia:

    UPDATE: Photo of Mitt speaking to supporters at private home-based fundraiser in Atlanta, GA. (Photo from Georgia for Mitt)

    News report from FOX 5 Atlanta:

    Mitt Romney Makes Stop in Smyrna: MyFoxATLANTA.com

    Romney’s stop in The Peach State put him on turf that Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain claim (Gingrich has opened campaign headquarters in Atlanta and GA is Cain’s home state). No matter how you slice it, Georgia supporters help keep Romney rollin’ in the dough.


    ► Jayde Wyatt

    In related news, the Misery Index is at a 28-year high.

    Romney Headed West: Raising Cash in California

    Sunset on California coast

    California, here he comes!

    Returning from the *presidential debate and campaigning in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney will be working his way through Colorado, Utah, and California to campaign and raise cash. He will be in The Golden State next week:

    GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is taking a fundraising swing through California next week, hosting events in at least five cities, according to a campaign memo obtained by The Times.
    [...]
    Romney will raise money at stops in Sacramento, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire between June 21 and 23.

    The memo also includes a partial list of the candidate’s state finance committee chairs, including prominent Republicans such as failed gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman (who used to work for Romney), former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, prominent homebuilder William Lyon, former MGM Studios Chairman Harry E. Sloan, and Tony Pritzker (whose sister Penny was the 2008 national finance chairperson of President Obama’s campaign).

    Californians were generous with Romney in his unsuccessful 2008 bid, contributing more than $8 million to his primary battle with Sen. John McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    It’s unclear how much the three-day swing will net Romney, but an invitation to a June 21 barbecue at McNealy’s Portola Valley home calls for a suggested contribution of $1,000 to $10,000 per person.
    [...]
    The California trip is sandwiched between similar events in Colorado and Utah.

    (emphasis added)

    Californians are dealing with 11.9% unemployment, a flat housing market, high gasoline/food prices, and a state budget deficit exceeding $15 billion. Too bad they let Meg Whitman slip out of their fingers. Ah well, their loss is our gain. Glad to see she’s helping Mitt in Cali…




    *Presidential debate… Margaret Carlson (Bloomberg) has penned my favorite summary:

    At this week’s debate in New Hampshire, Romney was a mighty oak planted at center stage, with little saplings arrayed around him.



    ► Jayde Wyatt

    Romney: Polls Ahead of Obama, Big Donors Added, Thousands Respond to ‘Why I Believe in America’

    “I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag. We stand for freedom, opportunity and hope.” – Mitt Romney

    Thousands of Romney supporters on Twitter and Facebook were asked why they believe in America. After all the responses were gathered, the Romney campaign created this eye-catching word cloud which shows the words most frequently used by respondents…



    Click on image to enlarge.

    From Zac Moffat, Digital Director:

    From your responses it’s important to note that, even though we all come from very different walks of life, our belief in America is centered on the same core principles. Not surprisingly, the words freedom, hope, and opportunity were some of the most common.

    For Americans, those words are everyday aspects of the life we enjoy—but for those who’ve never had America’s chance at living them—those are more than just words.

    Thanks for your feedback, everyone. We’ll continue to use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to ask for your thoughts and input as we move forward.

    Romney’s ‘word cloud’ image is a clever, eye-catching visual summarization of YOUR responses. The Romney campaign is eager for your feedback; they will continue to use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms of communication to reach out – so take advantage of the new media!

    Obama’s boost in the polls after killing Bin Laden has turned to smoke as Americans continue to deal with the grim reality of a worsening economy.

    Almost nine in 10 rate the economy negatively. Americans say our nation is seriously on the wrong track by two to one. No wonder there has been lots of buzz today about the Washington Post/ABC poll released this morning. Romney has pulled ahead of President Obama by three points and significantly outperforms his GOP opponents:

    Mitt Romney 49% Barack Obama 46%

    Barack Obama 50% Newt Gingrich 44%

    Barack Obama 50% Tim Pawlenty 41%

    Barack Obama 50% Jon Huntsman 40%

    Barack Obama 51% Michele Bachmann 40%

    Barack Obama 55% Sarah Palin 40%

    For Americans, the economy has really taken front and center and desperate Americans are looking for help. Romney’s expertise is looking better and better. 47% of registered voters now say they will NOT vote for Obama.

    It’s also no wonder that big donors and bundlers continue to put their money on Governor Romney.

    The Fix:

    As he ramps up his 2012 presidential bid, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) has been actively recruiting major donors who did not support him four years ago — with impressive results.

    Romney, who collected more than $100 million in 2008, has recruited at least 18 heavy-hitters (or “whales” in the political fundraising parlance) to help him secure the nomination this time around.

    “There have been a great number of new individuals that have agreed to be a member of Gov. Romney’s finance leadership team,” said national finance chairman Spencer Zwick. Zwick added that in nearly every case, the new members of the Romney fundraising inner circle have already hosted (or will soon host) an event for the former governor.

    This is an impressive roster of donors:

    The list of new names is loaded with major contributors who backed Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008 including: lobbyist Wayne Berman, who served as McCain’s national finance co-chair, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, New York Yankees president Randy Levine, oil magnate Kit Moncrief, philanthropist Mica Mosbacher, former Ambassador to Spain George Argyros and former Ambassador to Belgium Sam Fox.

    Romney also has two major donors previously committed to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and his un-pursued campaign — attorneys Dan Dumezich and Bob Grand — as well as two people who had planned to back Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s presidential campaign: Austin Barbour, the nephew of the governor, and Bobbie Kilberg, the president of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the 1993 lieutenant governor nominee in Virginia.

    Lew Eisenberg, a major GOP money man who served as the co-chairman of the 2008 Republican National Convention, is also on board with Romney, as is Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, who has used his wealth to fund a number of conservative-aligned groups including Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in the 2004 election.

    Perhaps most interestingly, Skybridge Capital managing partner Anthony Scarramucci, a former Obama donor, has signed on with Romney. (Scarramucci was a law school classmate of Obama but engaged in a high profile back-and-forth with the president in a town hall meeting last fall.)

    Here’s where we can help:


    But what Romney is clearly hoping for when the 2012 presidential hopefuls report their fundraising totals on July 15 is a total staggering enough to not only cow his rivals, but make clear to fundraising fence-sitters that the time is now to get behind him.
    [...]
    Romney’s expanded finance team sends a clear message: He is not content to simply replicate the fundraising successes he had in 2008. He wants to push well beyond them. His rivals now need to try to stay within financial shouting distance.

    (emphasis added)

    The Gov is depending on our support NOW. If you donated on his big fundraiser day, thank you! It’s time to give again. If you weren’t able to donate, perhaps you can determine a way to budget in a donation now. Any amount helps! This is the time to put our money where our mouths are. Donate here.

    ► Jayde Wyatt

    Romney Update: Tops Four Polls, Heading to Iowa & Florida, Obama Supporter Scaramucci Raises Funds for Romney

    Mid-week news on Governor Romney…

    Demonstrating his regard for hard-working Iowans, Gov Romney is heading to The Hawkeye State this Friday:

    Just days after naming former 2008 campaign staffer Sara Craig as his State Director for Iowa, Romney will head to the Hawkeye State himself, starting his day Friday meeting with employees at AgVision Agriculture Software, a company that specializes in providing computer software to grain elevators, seed processors, fertilizer retailers and feed stores, to name a few.

    Romney will then be the kick-off speaker for the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Presidential Forum Speaker Series. The series, sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mediacom and IowaPolitics.com, will extend invitations to all prospective presidential candidates before the 2012 Presidential Caucuses.

    Later Friday, Romney will head to Cedar Rapids to attend a picnic at the Hughes Farm, hosted by the Johnson and Linn County GOP.

    (links and emphasis added)
    Those wishing to attend the Des Moines Presidential Forum may register here.

    IOWA UPDATE -Seattle pi
    Romney spoke on the phone Wednesday with Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad:

    “Certainly on economic issues Gov. Romney could do very well,” Branstad, a pro-business Republican nominated last year over a strict social conservative, told The Associated Press. “I know he’s doing well nationally, but Iowa could be important for him.”
    [...]
    “Voters will see him frequently [in Iowa] and consistently hear him talk about his plan for creating jobs and growing the economy,” said Andrea Saul, communications director for Romney’s presidential exploratory campaign.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mitt Romney revs up his Florida money machine

    While Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum are meeting and greeting in Florida, Mitt Romney returns to Jacksonville to raise dough with Who’s who of Republican elites. Northeast Florida, a high turnout GOP stronghold, was very much Romney country in 2008. He crushed John McCain in that region.

    Click on image to enlarge.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Scaramucci Deserts Obama For Romney

    Hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci is deserting an old classmate to beat the fundraising bushes for his rival.

    The founder of $7.2 billion Skybridge Capital is holding a Presidential campaign fundraising dinner for Republican Mitt Romney, thereby turning his back on his Harvard Law School classmate and White House incumbent Barack Obama.

    The $2,500 per plate event is slated for June at the Mandarin Hotel in New York, according to a report in MarketWatch.

    But a source told HedgeFund.net that Scaramucci had already held more private fundraising events for his candidate mostly aimed at hedge fund managers and other investment advisors.

    Romney, who co-founded private equity firm Bain Capital before he served as Massachusetts governor, is the type of pro-business Republican that many in the asset class would like to see as their next President.
    [...]
    Scaramucci, who supported Obama in the 2008 election, became disenchanted by what he perceived as the President’s anti-Wall Street attitudes.

    He told Obama on a CNBC town hall discussion last fall that the administration’s regulatory stances made him feel like “a piñata.

    (emphasis added)

    Contributions go to Romney for President Exploratory Committee Inc.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Though Romney isn’t a presidential candidate yet and hasn’t begun official campaigning, and in spite of FreedomWorks, he comes out on top in four polls this week:

    Mitt Romney wins Harris poll (5/25/11)

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has won another poll.

    Mr. Romney, a potential Republican presidential candidate, received 14 percent support in the latest Harris poll.

    Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who said he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination before the vote was taken, was second among likely GOP voters in the poll released Monday at 12 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 10 percent.

    The remaining field of potential candidates received less than 8 percent and “undecided” led the field with 23 percent.

    The poll is the third in less than twenty-four hours to show Mr. Romney as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. The former Massachusetts governor took first in a CNN poll released Monday and an Ohio poll released later that day also showed Mr. Romney leading the pack of Republicans.

    (emphasis added)

    Insider Advantage (5/24/11)

    Insider Advantage conducted a survey for Channel 2 Action News of 770 likely Republican and Independent voters in which Georgia’s Herman Cain is statistically tied for second place with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

    According to the poll, Mitt Romney received 16.2% of the vote, Michelle Bachmann 11.8 %, Sarah Palin 11%, Herman Cain 10.9%, Tim Pawlenty 7.4%, Newt Gingrich 6.4%, Ron Paul 5%, Other 5.3%, Undecided 25.5%.

    CNN/WMUR by New Hampshire Survey Center (5/23/11)

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney led the poll, garnering 32 percent of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, the state where the nation’s first presidential primary is to be held. For the rest of the GOP players, they are clumped at the bottom of the lineup, with their batting averages amongst voters in the single digits.

    Dick Morris GMRS Survey (5/25/11)

    A survey completed on May 23rd shows Mitt Romney seizing a decisive national lead in the Republican Presidential Primary. Romney, who was getting only 22% of the vote before Trump and Huckabee pulled out, now swells to 30% of the primary vote (if Sarah Palin does not run).

    With Palin out of the race, the Morris Poll found the following results:
    Romney = 30%
    Gingrich = 15%
    Bachmann = 7%
    Cain = 7%
    Pawlenty = 5%
    Santorum = 3%
    Huntsman = 1%

    With Palin in the contest, Romney still leads with 25% of the vote, followed by Palin at 16% and Gingrich at 11%. No other candidate gets more than 6%.

    (emphasis added all polls)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I couldn’t finish this midweek update without mentioning a comment made by Tim Pawlenty when he officially announced his candidacy on Monday:

    “We’re not going to be the money champion in the race to start with though my friend Mitt Romney will be the front-runner in that regard. But we’re going to have enough money to run a competitive and successful campaign. It may not be the BMW or Mercedes campaign, but it will be a good solid Buick and maybe even trending towards a Cadillac and that will be enough for us to be competitive and win.”

    I don’t know if that was a T-Paw class warfare dart or his way of downplaying Romney’s $10.25 million fundraiser last week, but either way, the folksy inference that The Gov is running a BMW or Mercedes campaign is —— folksy. So, here’s my metaphor for T-Paw…

    With sleeves rolled up and eyes clearly focused on rebuilding our nation, Romney’s hands are firmly wrapped around the wheel of a Mack big rig truck loaded with a lifetime of business experience, intelligence, organization, common sense leadership, values, work ethic, and wisdom.

    I can’t wait for the Romney big rig to shift into full gear and head on down the road to the White House!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ► Jayde Wyatt