Big Money GOP Donors Abandoning Romney?

Fox Business reports that many big money GOP donors appear to be sending their cash to GOP House and Senate candidates rather than Mitt Romney:

The Romney campaign is experiencing what some officials believe could be the beginning of a mass exodus of big money donors diverting their cash away from the Republican presidential hopeful and toward Republican candidates for the House and Senate races more likely to win in November, the FOX Business Network has learned.

The trend isn’t at the acute stage, at least not yet, said one person with direct knowledge of the matter. This person, a major player in Romney’s New York fundraising circles, confirmed to FOX Business that a few New York donors have backed away from financial commitments to the Romney campaign and instead said they will spend their money to help the Republicans hold on to the House of Representatives, and pick up seats in the Senate.

But another person with direct knowledge of the matter says the trend, though nascent, is more geographically broad based, and reflects an increasing degree of anxiety both with what they believe is the tentative nature of the Romney campaign, and recent poll numbers that show President Obama with a lead, particularly in key battleground states, that some Republican contributors are starting to believe is insurmountable.

“This isn’t just a New York trend,” this person said. “It’s beginning to occur all over the place.”

Given the fact that the there is still a month to go in the campaign, none of the debates have even taken place yet, and Romney’s actual gap isn’t necessarily a death knell at this point in time, this is somewhat surprising, but it may also reflect other frustrations that some big money donors have had with the campaign for awhile now:

Some of Romney’s New York donors, particularly from the financial industry, have been openly critical of the campaign’s approach, arguing that Romney should be spending more time forcefully attacking President Obama on the economy and his foreign policy, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They’ve also accused the campaign of muzzling his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan on the campaign trail, something Ryan has personally denied when asked.

If Romney does will in the debate tomorrow and the gap in the polls starts to shrink just a bit, then that could be enough to get these donors back on board. However, if this continues, then the Romney campaign may find itself running short on resources as the campaign goes into the final stretch.

H/T: Ron Chusid

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    I think a lot of news outlets want it both ways:

    – obama is leading
    – the debates won’t help romney
    – the election is close
    – the electoral vote projections show a hard road for romney
    – romney needs to do something
    – romney can’t do anything
    – tune in tomorrow

  2. john personna says:

    (It would be more honest just to play a funeral dirge until November. If Romney can pop back out of the coffin that’s one thing, but pretending he’s just napping … not so much.)

  3. EddieInCA says:

    Intrade has Romney at 25% and Obama at 75%. Real money says Obama is going to win.

    Why would anyone put real money on Romney unless they see a path to winning.

    Right now, there is no path on which Romney wins. He’s losing North Carolina, for gawd’s sake.

    If he’s fighting for NC, he’s not going to win Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, or New Hampshire.

    If he’s fighting for NC at this point, he’s probably going to end up losing Indiana and Iowa as well.

  4. bookdragon says:

    Fake drama. Unless Romney is unequivocally awful in the debate (not impossible) the media will declare him the winner.

    Why?

    Because otherwise they’ve got no horse race to report on for the next month and no one will tune in for election coverage. They need a tightening race and Romney regaining ground to keep the narrative interesting.

  5. legion says:

    @bookdragon: That’s certainly what the media wants, and barring an unequivocal, Joe Scarborogh “O Sweet Jesus” moment, you’re probably right about the debates, but this isn’t about debates – it’s about money. It’s possible GOP donors aren’t as dumb & gullible as I’d assumed, since dumping their last reserves into down-ticket races to try & maintain Congressional power is really their only chance. Of course, these are the same people who put Romney in this position to begin with, believing against all evidence that he was not the person he always appeared to be in this campaign, so I’d also expect to see some big Adelson-type names doubling down on Romney to win in the coming days as well…

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The predictably-unnamed source for that story could very well be a Democrat plant or agent provocateur, so ergo the story needs to be taken with a major grain of salt. It wouldn’t be the first time Fox was punked by the left.

    That said, however, it seems pretty obvious that this sort of thing was one of the major goals of these bogus media polls out of Ohio and such. Depress Romney’s fundraising. Encourage Democrats. Depress conservative turnout. Affect the early voting. Build momentum for Obama. Pressure Romney going into the debates. Etc.

    Although it’s as plain as day that Obama is not leading by anything approaching double digits in places like Ohio and Florida that would not necessarily be so obvious to someone who’s got a ton of skin into the game. Plus conservatives tend to be naive and milquetoast, even those who outside of political arenas are quite sophisticated and ruthless

    That this polling gambit could actually work not only would make Machiavelli blush it would be perhaps the greatest political irony since vast numbers of conservatives in ’00 were duped by the late DUI hit into staying home and thereby casting de facto ballots for Al Gore.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    If Romney does will in the debate tomorrow…

    You think Romney might say something really stupid in the debate, like you wouldn’t vote for Obama if he wasn’t a n-clang? Like George Will did today.

    Sorry Doug, never could pass up a straight line. Or a chance to diss George Will.

    I’m waiting for a sign that some of the Wall Street money is going back to Obama. The rats will be leaving the sinking Our financial geniuses will be looking to use their contributions where they’ll be most effective.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    That said, however, it seems pretty obvious that this sort of thing was one of the major goals of these bogus media polls out of Ohio and such. Depress Romney’s fundraising. Encourage Democrats. Depress conservative turnout. Affect the early voting. Build momentum for Obama. Pressure Romney going into the debates. Etc.

    The Liberal Conspiracy is never-ending and all-encompassing..why the person who is Tsar Nicholas hasn’t been dragged off to the re-education camps yet I’ll never know…

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The predictably-unnamed source for that story could very well be a Democrat plant or agent provocateur, so ergo the story needs to be taken with a major grain of salt.

    You do realize that “unnamed sources” does not mean that the reporter doesn’t know the name of the source, right?

    They do not get calls from ‘left wing plants’ using voice modulators to hide their identity.

    Instead it is one of the said right wing donors who is giving a reason for why his comrades are not donating to Romney–but he is doing it in a way that does hurt his or her relationship with Mr. Romney.

    This is, ironically, one of the stupider things you’ve said. What’s doubly ironical is that you do it with such an air of confidence. That’s what happens in irony Zombieland nowadays, I suppose. It’s sort of a sun rises in the east thing.

  10. bookdragon says:

    @legion: Dumping money in the down ticket races would’ve been a better strategy to begin with. After all, Congress writes the laws.

    However, we are talking Wall Street ‘geniuses’. 😉

  11. Jr says:

    Not surprised.

    Even the mainstream media is starting to move Ohio from toss up to lean Obama. I know things happen, but I don’t see a path for Romney. Obama is to win WI, OH, NV. Those three states alone give him 271, and I would say he is the favorite to win VA, NH, IA.

  12. JohnMcC says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You know, Mr Romanof, that if one were in the economic strata that is found in the ‘bundlers’ and ‘major contributors’ of presidential campaigns, one could afford to hire one’s own poll done. I mean, you know that, eh? Surely. Surely?

  13. superdestroyer says:

    A better question is when will the big money GOP donors realize that the Republican Party is irrelevant to policy or governance in the U.S. and shift their donations to conservative and moderate Democrats.

    The big money types will soon realize that the Democratic Party primaries are the real election in the U.S. and will start trying to influence those elections instead of giving money to irrelevant Republicans who have zero chance of winning.