Monday, April 26, 2010

Can We Call Marco Rubio A Fundraising Star Now?

Chalk this up as one more reason for the NRSC to stay out of the primary. It seems like Marco Rubio is starting to self finance just fine all his own.

[VA]Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has now become a national leader for conservative causes--and you don't have to take just our word for it.

Cuccinelli is a "nationwide leader in fighting the unconstitutional excesses of the federal government." That's according to Marco Rubio, a candidate in the GOP primary for senator in Florida and himself a conservative favorite, in a statement accepting Cuccinelli's endorsement of his candidacy this weekend.

Cuccinelli has joined a variety of Republicans taking sides in the Florida primary battle between Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist. Last week, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also chose the more conservative Rubio over Crist.

If I recall, one of the big reasons why the NRSC asked Crist to run was because Crist could self-finance an election at the time. That will be an issue when he goes with an independent bid.

As of March 31, Crist was sitting on a healthy $7.6 million in his federal campaign account, but he’s going to need every penny — and more — in a race where a statewide media buy likely will cost well more than $1 million per week this fall.

Besides advertising, Crist will have to build a get-out-the-vote operation and gather voter information to microtarget his voters. One operative who has worked on multiple high-profile Independent campaigns said both of those important components — which make up a major part of what party organizations provide — can be bought on the open market, for a price.

But unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), who spent $102 million of his vast fortune to win re-election last fall, Crist can’t self-fund his bid.
[. . .]
Crist won’t be legally obligated to return the money that he’s raised and could try weathering the storm to preserve precious cash. But that would create its own issues with news stories about donors saying Crist took their money under false pretenses. If nothing else, it will be an awkward story for Crist to deal with as he tries to relaunch and rebrand himself.

Exit Question: What state should Crist retire quietly to?

Cross posted at Not One Red Cent.

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