Houston Chronicle Reports: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign fundraising has gone into a tailspin as a result of poor debate performances and plunging poll numbers, jeopardizing his position as the best-funded Republican presidential candidate of 2012.
Perry’s associates and supporters say his campaign has redoubled its money-raising efforts in the past week to ensure that his campaign will have enough money to survive the first three contests of the 2012 election calendar: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
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.”
For good reason. The RealClearPolitics.com average of recent national polls places Perry fourth at 9.9 percent, down from his peak of 31.8 percent on Sept. 13. More ominously, new polls in the first two states to select presidential convention delegates show Perry languishing in fifth place in Iowa and New Hampshire as fellow Texan Ron Paul rocketed to second place.
“It’s the iron rule of politics: Money follows popularity,” says Austin lobbyist Bill Miller, a Perry donor. “It goes up if you’re popular and goes down if you’re not.”
Another Perry fundraiser said he expects the Texas governor to raise between $3 million and $5 million in the final three months of 2012 — less than one-third of what he generated in the first six weeks of his candidacy.