This is one reason why so many potential GOP candidates passed on making a run for 2012 –not only would they have to raise a significant sum for an expensive primary, but beyond that contest lies a billion –or more– of Democratic contributions to the president.
Which is why the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza’s column on Mitt Romney’s fundraising machine should be read by all the handicappers. None of the other candidates can come close to matching this donor network, though Tim Pawlenty has an impressive start and Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann can count on a vast network of small donors. (Bachmann’s list in particular is deep.)
The urgent need business feels to oust Obama and repeal Obamacare will open their pockets to a competitive GOP candidate, and to fund independent expenditures as well. But only if there is a path to victory. The early money pouring into Romney’s coffers suggest that sober-eyed bundlers with enormous stakes in a return to growth and the carving back of the federal behemoth are betting that Romney can defeat Obama.