The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Romney’s Money Problems — and Mine

Posted on | February 22, 2012 | 13 Comments

Yesterday, I put up a post with this headline:

Campaign Cash Shows Unsustainable
‘Burn Rate’ for Romney and Gingrich

 What I didn’t realize at the time was that Nate Silver of the New York Times had made the same point yesterday morning:

Mitt Romney raised slightly more than his Republican rivals in January. His campaign committee, Romney for President, brought in $6.5 million in January, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. By contrast, Newt Gingrich raised $5.6 million, and Rick Santorum and Ron Paul each raised $4.5 million.
But his fund-raising pace was fairly weak despite wins in New Hampshire and Florida. And Mr. Romney spent far more than his rivals in January — $18.8 million, compared with $5.9 million for his next-closest competitor, Mr. Gingrich.
More worrisome, Mr. Romney spent more than he took in; his cash flow was negative $12.2 million for the month. He exited January with just $7.7 million in cash on hand.
That sort of pace is not sustainable. Were Mr. Romney’s campaign to continue to raise and spend money at the same rate as in January, it would have only about 20 days of expenditures before money ran out.

Silver has much more, so I wanted to acknowledge that he had beat me to that angle and covered the same terrain in greater detail than I had. I just hadn’t seen his post before I wrote mine, or I would have cited it. And speaking of “cash flow” . . .

Today, I’m planning to hit the road about noon, driving about 350 miles to Columbus, Ohio, where I expect to meet up with some Santorum supporters (including my brother-in-law) to watch tonight’s CNN debate on TV. From there, my plan is to travel another 200 miles Thursday to the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan.

Gas is now near $4 a gallon, and you can figure that at 2o mpg, a trip of 550 miles will require about 27 gallons, or $108 just for gas. Figure three cups of coffee per day ($1.50 x 3 = $4.50), two dollar-menu meals at McDonald’s per day ($3 x 2 = $6) and two packs of smokes per day ($6 x 2 = $12), and my basic costs are $22.50 per day, exclusive of gas, lodging or other expenses.

So the bottom line number, between now and Monday, is $220.50. In regard to cash flow, remember it takes a couple of days for PayPal transfers to clear the bank, so in order to avoid a Romneyesque negative cash flow, that’s how much I need in the Shoe Leather Fund by midnight tonight. Thanks in advance to the tip-jar hitters who I’m sure will make this campaign trail trip another success.

Via Memeorandum, here are some headlines for the road:

Santorum super PAC buys
more ad time in Michigan


Santorum Has the Republican
and Democratic Establishment on Edge

— Joe Lindsley

CNN/Time Poll: All tied up in Arizona

Santorum Up 9 Points Among Republican Voters
— Quinnipiac University

NBC poll: Romney, Santorum deadlocked in Michigan; Romney leads in Arizona

Women Prefer Santorum to Romney
by 10-Point Margin, Says Gallup

— CNS News

And finally, from my latest American Spectator column:

During the week that ended Sunday, Newt Gingrich held eight campaign events and Mitt Romney held nine. Rick Santorum held 15 events last week, and that may ultimately explain why Santorum continues his otherwise inexplicable surge in the Republican presidential race: He is simply out-working his opponents.
Ever since Iowa, where he famously visited all 99 counties before surging to an upset win over Romney in the final week before the Jan. 3 caucuses, Santorum has consistently appeared at more public events than either of his chief GOP rivals. Excepting only the last weekend of January — when he returned home to get his tax returns and stayed to visit with his ailing 3-year-old daughter — Santorum has almost always held more events each day than either Gingrich or Romney. Some days, Santorum appears at more campaign events than the other two combined. Monday, Santorum did two events in Ohio and two in Michigan. Tuesday, he traveled to Arizona for two more events, and today he will speak at a Tea Party rally in Tucson before tonight’s debate in Mesa (8 p.m. Eastern, CNN).
The national media, while spending the past week hopping from one Santorum-related “controversy” to another, have paid little attention to the former Pennsylvania senator’s unsurpassed diligence as a candidate. If all you knew about the Santorum campaign was what you learned from the media, you might be excused for believing that he has surged to the top of the Republican presidential field because (a) he’s a scary religious kook, and (b) so are GOP primary voters. . . .

Please read the whole thing. Time for me to hit the road.