Texas Governor Rick Perry’s fundraising advantage in the race for the Republican presidential nomination is disappearing.
Perry — who led the GOP field in fundraising with $15 million in the bank on Oct. 1 — has been struggling to reel in donations since his long string of gaffes and subsequent drop in the polls. According to a Houston Chronicle report, one Perry fundraiser believes that he will raise only between $3 million and $5 million in the final three months of the year. That would be less than one third of what he raised in the first six weeks of his campaign, and would likely place Perry’s fundraising total behind those of rivals Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul.
Perry’s downward spiral in the polls has had a clear impact on his ability to raise money:
One Perry fundraiser, who asked not to be named, said he received 15 RSVPs for a recent event from potential donors saying they might attend. But after a gaffe-marred Perry debate performance, none showed up.
“The debates have taken a toll,” the fundraiser said. “The national numbers have taken a toll. People see the campaign on a negative trajectory.”
As Perry donor Bill Miller told the Chronicle, “It’s the iron rule of politics: Money follows popularity. … It goes up if you’re popular and goes down if you’re not.”
Many pundits have argued that Perry shouldn’t be counted out in the Republican race because he will have enough money blanket the airwaves with ads and to stay in the race for longer than many of his competitors. If his negative fundraising trend continues, however, then it will be hard to imagine Perry making a comeback and capturing the Republican nomination.