Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 GOP Update – Romney Campaign low on Cash- Polls Romney Negative Ads Kill Approval – Illinois Now the “Next Must Win” State – Frontrunner?

Romney with his teleprompter, Campaign Short on Cash (AP) image 1st Republic14th Star blog

According to the AP the Mitt Romney Campaign is strapped for cash – while his main opponent, Rick Santorum is out campaigning, Romney is busy trying to raise funds to keep going.

“Romney has scaled back expenses, trimmed field staff in some cases and begun to count more on free media coverage to reach voters. And he's still relying on an allied super political action committee to supplement his spending on expensive TV ads.”
“The once-lopsided money race between the top two Republican candidates has never been closer. For the month of February, Romney boasted his second-best fundraising month ever, taking in $11.5 million. Santorum, who has a vastly smaller organization to support, wasn't far off, with $9 million.”
Romney, who arrives in Puerto Rico Friday, March 16, was forced to spend two days privately courting donors in the New York area.
On Wednesday, Romney had five finance events in New York, all packed, raising about $3 million, with more Thursday. Wednesday "was the best day we've had so far," said New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, who accompanied Romney to multiple events.
But that money is badly needed to refill coffers that had sunk close to their lowest levels since Romney launched his presidential effort last year.
The campaign stopped conducting expensive polling ahead of the Michigan primary. Instead, it now counts on lower-cost voter ID phone calls, which aides contend are nearly as accurate as internal polls. Romney also stopped using the 150-seat plane that could accommodate the press after Super Tuesday and is instead flying with a small group of aides and Secret Service agents on a smaller and cheaper aircraft.
Further, his staff is pursing what it calls creative ways to maximize free television coverage to supplement a flood of paid television advertising. Romney notified local media, for example, that he's scheduled to arrive at the San Juan airport Friday at 2:30 p.m., although there are no formal remarks or events planned for that time. That's not typical for the buttoned-down campaign with the tightly controlled media schedule. The AP via Cleveland Plain Dealer

The tactic of negative ads hammering every single Romney opponent backfired in 2008, and now, Romney is faced with the same situation – polls indicate that the more Romney attacks his opponents, the less favorable he becomes – exit polls in both Mississippi and Alabama showed that the negative ads run against Santorum and Gingrich by Romney’s Pac gave him a net loss in both states Scripps News.

Now, with Illinois looming as the next “Make it or Break it for Romney”, his campaign is now increasing spending in Illinois - to date he has spent 3.4 million on ads in Illinois (WSJ). In addition
The polls in Illinois show a tight race between Romney and Rick Santorum, with Gingrich polling at 12% and Ron Paul in single digits. As the primary is held Tuesday, with Romney hoping for the Urban and wealthier suburbs to push him over the edge, his continued use of negative advertising may actually give Santorum a boost in those areas – similar to what occurred in Mississippi where Romney was favored to win heavily in the Urban areas, while Santorum would take the more rural areas – that is not what occurred – Romney favored to win, fell to 3rd place.

What happens if Romney loses Illinois? – According to Alan J. Steinberg, who served in the EPA under the Bush administration Santorum will become the new favorite to win the nomination.(New Jersey .com)

Of course, each state becomes the next “must win” – as Californians are now looking towards their June 5th Primary as the deciding factor in the race. accoreding to the Washington Post - However, that may be another close one, as polls are varying wildly at this moment, PPP has Santorum within 5 points, while Rasmussen has Romney leading leading handily.

Of course, before the campaigns get to California, (who holds the next to last primary), they face off in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana (where officials have placed Santorum on the ballot) – the majority of the ramming states favor Santorum (poll wise) and geographically.

Therefore as Romney has to attend fund-raisers, Santorum is hitting the campaign trail – While Romney is outspending Santorum 10 to 1 with negative advertising, Romney’s approval numbers are dropping, each state is now becoming the “must win State” for the former Massachusetts Governor – this adds up to the man currently holding the most delegates (combined actual delegates won and super delegates (those establishment Republicans who have signed on with Romney out of some idiotic notation that moderates win general elections – they suffer from short term memory – see Dole, McCain, etc.), at (490 approximate) to Santorum’s 200 (approximate), waging a delegate war of attrition similar to the Ron Paul Model. In other words, at the end of his campaign - We know where Ron Paul’s numbers are now: in single digits in every state since Virginia, where he appeared alone on the Ballot with Romney and had a respectable showing.

2012 is nothing more than a protracted repeat of the 2008 election cycle, and one is now realizing, when the money is gone, and the campaign is resorting to posting on blogs and new sites where every seemingly negative article on Romney is an invitation to use the “Mormon Card” , the desperation of the Romney campaign is now apparent.

The question going forward is which candidate is truly the Front Runner and will Illinois really settle that question? (Keep in Mind that Missouri caucuses March 17th (Santorum Favored), Puerto Rico on the 18th (No Polling Data, but again, the base which supports Santorum is more populace that the rank and file Republicans, could go either way), and then Illinois (polls are tight) followed by Louisiana (Santorum). This may make the Nutmeg State of Connecticut the next Must-win State for the former MA Governor.

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