- By Isaac Eder
- Published: April 24th, 2012
With Santorum out of the running, the Romney money machine all but clinches GOP primary spot
Rick Santorum never really stood a chance. Approximately two weeks ago by the time this piece runs, Santorum dropped out of the GOP primary race, crushed by the roaring juggernaut of money and establishment support upon which Mitt Romney rode into battle.
Of course, Santorum insists that money wasn’t the main issue that led to the suspension of his campaign. According to NBC’s Andrew Rafferty, Santorum told supporters in a conference call that “I know there’s been a lot of articles written that somehow we dropped out because we ran out of money. That just is a little, very, very small piece of the story. The bottom line is we wanted to take this race as far as we could to the point where we felt that we could be successful.”
While there were surely other strategic and personal considerations that went into this decision, as that same article reports, Santorum spent a large amount of the call soliciting donations to retire the massive debt he took on to finance his campaign.
Romney has no such financial problems. Ignoring entirely his personal wealth, he has, according to the NY Times, raised $75.6 million in campaign contributions. While that’s less than half of what President Obama has raised, it dwarfs Santorum’s meager means and his debt which, according to the Christian Science Monitor, sits around $1 million.
This is definitely good for Romney, who has basically clinched the Republican nomination and has no serious competitors left.
Ron Paul’s campaign has a small, but extremely vocal, group of supporters still clinging to his libertarian platform.
Gingrich says he’s still a contender. As of this writing, he hasn’t dropped out yet, but that can easily be attributed to two things. The first is the generous funding he is still receiving through his Super-PAC from billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has apparently all but given up hope, stating, according to the Huffington Post, that “It appears as though (Gingrich is) at the end of his line. Because mathematically he can’t get anywhere near the numbers (of delegates required to gain the nomination), and there’s unlikely to be a brokered convention.”
Adelson’s point is astute and one of the only things keeping Gingrich in the race.
The plain, simple fact is that elections are expensive and getting more so. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2008 the total cost of a presidential election crossed the billion dollar mark for the first time in history. Santorum and the others just couldn’t keep up, and the Romney machine powers on.