Good lord. I was perusing Mitt Romney’s FEC report trying to get a sense of how much money he has lent his campaign. I traded Tweets with Patrick Ruffini and Soren Dayton about ten days ago and we were ball parking the total amount he’ll loan himself at around $50 million. Now I’m not so sure. I think it may be considerably higher.
Based on his Year-End report, Mitt was writing himself a check for three million dollars roughly every two weeks beginning on November 5. That lasted until December 10 when the pace picked up to every 6 or 8 days. Let’s assume that held constant at three large every 8 days between then and now, he’s just broken the $50 million mark and still no closer to getting the nod. If the rate remains constant between now and the first week of March (when Texas and Ohio vote), he will be north of $62 million in personal loans by then.
If his rate accelerated, or the checks got larger, it could be even greater.
If he’s closer to 3 million every six days, he could be closer to $70 million by March 7. That also assumes that the checks are hovering in the 3 million range. The more likely scenario, given the huge expense of competing in 20 states yesterday, is those checks got much, much larger.
It will be interesting to see the final tally, but this does give opponents of public funding an opening. The argument has always been that public financing was needed to counter the fat-cat billionaire who would decide to simply buy his Congressional seat. This should be evidence that money alone is not enough to buy a race. No matter how much you throw at it, an underfunded opponent with better credentials or better ideas will still beat you.