GOP Contenders

Gingrich behind in fundraising

John Dimsdale Dec 7, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s campaign is under a mountain of debt. The Washington Post today reports he might have spent a lot of early money on things such as luxury jets. Catching up may be hard, because even though Gingrich’s poll numbers are surging, campaign contributions are not.

From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.

John Dimsdale: At the end of September, the Gingrich campaign was $1 million in debt. Still, Gingrich has been a national politician for two decades.

Stephen Hess: In a strange way, he doesn’t need quite as much money as those who have been busy raising it and spending it for months now.

Presidential historian Stephen Hess at Brookings says money isn’t as important for someone with name recognition like Gingrich.

Hess: Strange things are happening, including the fact that candidates got this far by simply participating in debate after debate. Which costs them virtually nothing.

But with Iowa voting just a month away, Gingrich’s late start could become a liability.

Political scientist Jack Pitney is at Claremont McKenna College.

Jack Pitney: The question is whether Gingrich can assemble a combination of professionals and volunteers that can deliver results on caucus night.

Pitney expects Gingrich donations to start rolling in. But he says Wall Street favors Mitt Romney, so a lot of the cash will come from lobbyists on Washington’s K Street, Gingrich’s home since he resigned as Speaker of the House.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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