Much focus is put on how much money a candidate raises in a campaign. Fund raising is a key to the popularity and backing of a candidate, but their ability to effectively spend those funds is also key.
Obama has raised the most by far thanks to a large network of bundlers (unions, political action committees, etc). The president has raised more than $46 million and has $34 million in cash remaining for his campaign to use.
The closest GOP candidate is Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has raised over $18 million and spent about $6 million so far.
As of yesterday, Pawlenty and Paul were tied at about $4.5 million raised with Bachmann close behind with a Q2 finishing total of $4.2 million in fund raising. Cain and Gingrich bring up the rear of the viable candidates with $2.6 and $2.1 million in funds. The other candidates have raised less than $1 million dollars each.
Of the non-Romeny candidates, spending is varied. Ron Paul has almost $3 million remaining to spend on the election, Pawlenty has $1.5 million remaining that he can use for the primary, Bachmann has almost $3.4 million and Cain has less than half a million dollars remaining to spend.
Of the leading fund raisers, Cain is in the most precarious position. He has spent heavily and has achieved the name recognition he was looking for. 48% of GOP voters now know who Herman Cain is. Unfortunately, he is still sitting low in the polls despite his new found visibility and has little money left to get his message out. Cain’s campaign has stalled and may have trouble getting reignited.
Pawlenty is in a comfortable, but not enviable position. With $1.5 million in the bank for the primary, his $2 million spend hasn’t gotten him a favorable position in the polls. Sitting well behind Romney and Bachmann, Pawlenty will need to focus his remaining funds to excite voters before February.
Ron Paul is stuck low in the polls with the other also-running candidates. He deserves mention because his fund-raising machine has put him in the running if he can spend it well. He has more than $3 million left to spend, has name recognition and plenty of time. His funds
The front-runners in recent polls are Romney and Bachmann with Rep. Bachmann gaining ground on the former Governor. Romney has almost four times the roughly $3.4 million that Michele is holding. Romney has been spending much faster than Bachmann and may have to continue doing so to deal with the tarnished image that “RomneyCare” has given him among Conservatives.
Rick Perry and Sarah Palin could both change the arithmetic, but for now, it seems to be a race between Romney and Bachmann – liberal Republican vs. Conservative Republican.