Commentary Magazine


Fundraising Problems and Indecision for Newt

Newt Gingrich may be well-known for his fundraising skills, but his political action committee has been struggling to bring in donations since the beginning of the year, Politico reports. His American Solutions PAC only raised $53,000 from January to March, in comparison to the $13.7 million Gingrich raised through his 527-committee American Solutions for Winning the Future in 2010.

The major difference is that the PAC donations are capped at $5,000-per-person, while the 527-committee operates under no such limits. Gingrich has no problem getting a small number of big contributions, but getting a large number of small contributions doesn’t seem to come as easily.

Other potential candidates are far ahead of him in terms of small donations (Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, for example, raised nearly $1.9 million during the first three months of 2011). And Gingrich’s inability to bring in a lot of small donors could indicate a lack of grassroots enthusiasm.

Fundraising concerns could also be behind the delay in Gingrich’s decision on whether or not to run. Once he officially begins a campaign, he would have to raise and spend money exclusively through a presidential campaign committee. And since campaign donations are capped at $2,500, Gingrich has reason to stall as long as possible.