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Morning Jay: Why Is Obama’s Fundraising So Weak?

6:00 AM, Aug 22, 2012 • By JAY COST
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This supports the theory that Obama is suffering donor fatigue on both his left and right flanks. The “worst” donors so far are securities and investment firms, real estate outfits, and liberal interest groups.

We can get at this from another angle as well. The next chart examines Obama’s top 20 donors by company in 2008 to see what they are doing in 2012: are they still among his top 20 donors, or have they dropped out of the mix? The results are intriguing.

Clearly, Obama is suffering a major problem with the big financial institutions, which gave overwhelmingly to his campaign in 2008. This time around, they are holding back; in fact, Citigroup, G.E., JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are all among Mitt Romney’s top donors. That furthers the idea that these companies are not giving for ideological reasons, but for the purpose of access – and they have intuited that the GOP will offer them a better deal moving forward. (Incidentally, this points to tensions in a potential Romney administration, which will have to balance these groups against the decidedly Jeffersonian Tea Party.)

The bottom line: These trends are likely to continue through the next 3 months. Thus, by Election Day it is probable that Mitt Romney and the broader GOP campaign will have spent substantially more than this president during the fall leg of the campaign.

Jay Cost is a staff writer for THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the author of Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, available now wherever books are sold.

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