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July 06, 2011 09:26 PM UTC

First Rule of Fundraising: Always Set Attainable Goals

  • by: Colorado Pols

Politico’s Jonathan Martin–but wait, didn’t Mitt Romney outraise everybody by a mile?

Mitt Romney disclosed today that he raised $18.25 million in his initial fundraising report, but his goal for the first half of 2011 was $50 million, according to an email sent by a Romney consultant to a potential state finance aide at the end of last year.

Don Stirling, a Utah-based Romney finance consultant, sent a message in late-December to another western GOP strategist outlining compensation plans and fundraising targets.

“National 6-month goal: $50 million,” he wrote in the message, obtained by POLITICO. [Pols emphasis]

That’s the same figure that other Romney fundraisers bandied about for their first-quarter target as late as March. When both POLITICO and the Wall Street Journal got wind that his backers were discussing such an ambitious goal, expectations-minded Romney aides moved aggressively to claim that there was no such out-of-the-gates target…

It may not be close to the original goal set by Romney’s campaign in December, but Romney still raised more than four times the amount of his closest GOP opponent. What could be the real story here, of course, is the overall lack of enthusiasm for the GOP field expressed for the first time in hard numbers–everyone is waiting for President Barack Obama to announce what’s expected to be an unprecedented haul, as our friends at the Washington Post report:

The reality is that Obama isn’t competing against his potential Republican opponents. They are raising cash in a crowded field and without the help of a a joint fundraising committee like the one Obama is using that allows a donor to write a single check that can then be divvied up between the re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The more apt comparison then is to President George W. Bush. In the 2nd quarter of 2003, Bush collected $35 million but went on to top $50 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 – the most ever raised by an incumbent president in any three-month period during an off year.

Bush’s total fundraising in 2003, which amounted to nine months since he didn’t raise money in the first quarter of the year, was $132.5 million. It seems like a virtual certainty that Obama will eclipse that total by the end of 2011…

The Obama operation set a goal of recruiting 450,000 donors in the second quarter and were already over 490,000 as the midnight deadline approached on June 30. (Remember: campaigns set public goals they know they can meet and exceed; it’s a classic bit of playing the expectations game.) [Pols emphasis]

“Expectations”–Romney, the only one even close, hasn’t mastered the game.


13 thoughts on “First Rule of Fundraising: Always Set Attainable Goals

        1. Makes sense, from someone whose handle includes the name of the party that brought us the “death panels” lie; the Republicans have made scummy lying their M.O., so it’s nice to see you’re on board with your team strategy, Arap.

            1. last decade, and as anachronistic as buggy whips. Your concerns are reflective a pre-Citizens United way of “thinking.”

              The Kochs don’t need no stinking bundlers.

      1. What kind of mom would that be?  (He lifted her mastercard and sent his “contribution” from her basement, on the internet . . . same way he gets his porn.)

      1. Sure, while whacking away at decades of corruption and damage in MA Romney made choices that probably wouldn’t have flown in CO. But the fact is he served the people of MA with all the warts that go along with the Commonwealth.

        What’d your guy do? Oh yeah community organizer, 4 years state senate voting “present”, then 18 months as US senator.

        Heck, like most of his cabinet appointees, this is the largest budget h’s ever been associated with, let alone responsible for…no wonder he decided to bury his head in the sand.  Now with Roemer and Goolsbee tracking back to university appointments he’s left with Geithner who by all accounts wants out too.

        1. Flip-flopping on core issues like abortion, gay rights, health insurance mandate… yeah, “principled” really is what comes to mind.

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