The race for president has begun and with it comes the need for funding. Experts in campaign finance have predicted that President Obama and Mitt Romney have the potential to break past fundraising efforts.
President Obama raised $750 million during the 2008 race. Therefore, an increase to $1 billion is a possibility. Historically, each successive presidential race has broken donation records, and as the race for president narrows to fewer candidates, each nominee should bring in more funding.
Team Obama is off and running with $53 million in donations. Furthermore, when the President’s funding is added to that of the Democratic National Committee, they will have approximately $130 million.
Increased Funding May Equal Additional Voters
The Romney Group obtained $12.6 million in donations for March. However, the Republican campaign has just $10 million in cash, which currently gives President Obama a 10-to-1 advantage.
Since the President has such a large lead financially so early in the race, Romney will need to work on hoarding his funding. His campaign has raised $87 million in donations, but the majority of Romney's funding eliminated the numerous Republican candidates who were vying for the presidency.
Sunlight Foundation’s editorial director, Bill Allison, stated: “If there is one thing that Romney has been incredibly effective at, it’s raising money. He has a national network. He is going to be a prodigious money-raising machine.”
Romney’s New Game Plan
Now that his Republican competition has fallen by the wayside, Romney's team can begin structuring a fundraising plan. Romney has joined forces with the Republican National Committee to create a combined “Victory Fund.” Until Rick Santorum bowed out, Romney was unable to work with the Committee to begin their donation drive.
Allison commented on the donation situation by saying: “The party won’t start fundraising with just one candidate until the nominee is firmly ensconced, with a mathematical hold on a winning number of delegates.”
With the regulations regarding campaign funding, Romney was unable to collect more than $2,500 per check. Now that he’s working with the RNC, he can accept checks over $50,000.
An Introduction to Campaign Spending
In 2010, when the midterm election cycle was underway, and the Super PACs had just begun, the groups spent approximately $65 million. According to campaign experts, the 2010 dollar amounts will seem miniscule compared to this year. In fact, Romney’s Restore Our Future Super PAC has already reached $52 million. This particular Super PAC is responsible for the majority of negative ads about past Republican hopefuls.
Obama is a bit behind with the Super PAC affiliation and has just one: Priorities USA Action. The group has raised $9 million after two months of campaigning.
Other Financial Resources
The Republican candidate has access to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, which has raised an estimated $99.8 million for nomination-seeking Republicans at the beginning of 2011.
Candidates may also use their own finances to fund their campaign. Since Mitt Romney is worth an estimated $264 million, some speculate that he may tap into his own fortune.