Perry's Money Machine Sputters

Written by Mark R. Yzaguirre on Friday November 18, 2011

Back in August, which was a couple of political lifetimes ago, I wrote a piece about Texas Governor Rick Perry's strong fundraising base, specifically his unique ability to access a key part of the GOP's fundraising base--wealthy Republicans in Texas.

Well, it looks like that money machine is sputtering like a confused politician at a presidential debate.

According to a recent article by Richard Dunham in the Houston Chronicle, Perry's fundraising has taken a big hit as his poll numbers have declined.  The article is worth reading in its entirety, but one quote seems to sum up the state of play:

But Perry’s loyal backers are running into resistance from Republican donors. 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.”

He's not kidding.  While it shouldn't be any surprise that fundraising tends to be less successful as a candidate faces setbacks in the polls, this is of particular concern for Perry because one of his big strengths was supposed to be his ability to raise money.  If that is failing, particularly in Texas, that removes one possible tool for a comeback.

I've written several articles here at FrumForum about Perry's likely political strengths. I've been thinking about it lately, and I'm beginning to consider the possibility that I might have overestimated Perry's capabilities. I will reflect on this topic further and may revisit it in future works.