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.”
If Romney does well in tomorrow night’s debate, that trend may be stopped dead in its tracks. On the other hand, if he achieves a draw or less, the disenchantment is likely to deepen, with important consequences for fundraising efforts.
A mediocre performance in Denver would also inspire another, more aggressive round of anti-Romney sniping and backstabbing from conservative media and politicians, which has the potential to do a lot more damage to the Romney cause than a withdrawal of financial support. I’ve already been struck by the fact that many conservative pundits and media figures have been even more dismissive of Romney’s chances than have their counterparts on the left. Given the right opening, they seem quite ready to bury him and move on.
– Jay Bookman