Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Palin's fund-raising lags

Mitt Romney recently raised a little more than $10 Million in one day. It's unlikely that Sarah Palin's PAC has raised that much the entire time it has been in existence (almost two years). That doesn't deter those speculating that Palin may run, however, and a recent Washington Post story about a fund-raising letter sent by Palin's PAC to 400,000 people may fuel rumors that she'll run. I'm here to throw some cold water on that notion.

Direct mail solicitations typically get a 1% response rate, so we might expect 4000 people to respond to the PAC's letter. Even if 4000 people send an average of $100, the PAC will only raise $400,000; at an average of $1000 -- unlikely -- the PAC would raise $4,000,000. $400,000 may not seem a small amount to Joe and Jane Average, but it is in presidential politics where fund-raising ability on a large scale really matters: more than $1 Billion was spent during the 2008 campaign. One candidate spent about 3/4 of a billion dollars.

A Los Angeles Times story about Romney's fund-raising prowess notes -- while writing about last quarter's reports -- that Ron Paul raised about $3 Million with two PACs and adds, "Money raised through PACs can’t be used for a presidential bid." [emphasis added]

Can money raised by Palin's PAC be used to fund a presidential bid? A run by Palin?

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