ByÂ Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times
In outspending formerÂ Sen. Rick SantorumÂ and former House SpeakerÂ Newt GingrichÂ en route to the Republican presidential nomination,Â Mitt RomneyÂ proved he knows how to reel in big-cash backers. But if he hopes to go toe-to-toe this fall with President Obama, the former Massachusetts governor needs to show he can fish for small-dollar donors, too.
â€œNow that the race [is] a two-person contest,Â Mr. RomneyÂ ought to be able to bring more small donors in,â€ saidÂ Michael J. Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI), a Washington-based think tank. â€œBut to do so, some things will have to change. He will have to gain more passionate support or more committed support as opposed to respect. He will have to make a real effort to find these people and go after them. This campaign at several points has said that it was doing so, but we do not see much evidence of that.â€
â€œNot unless Iâ€™m struck by a lightning bolt from on high,â€ saidÂ Emma P. RouthÂ from Franklinville, N.C., who fired off a $100 check toÂ Mr. SantorumÂ in March, weeks before the former senator from Pennsylvania dropped out of the race. She said it might take divine intervention to get her to send a similar check toÂ Mr. Romney.
â€œIf God speaks out loud, I might. Iâ€™m not very enthusiastic aboutRomney. Iâ€™m sort of at the point where Iâ€™m going to have to hold my breath while I go to the polls,â€ she said.
Mark Robinson, a pastor in Galesburg, Ill., who describes himself as â€œone of those radical religious folk,â€ said itâ€™s â€œvery important to me to have a bedrock candidate that makes decisions based on conscience rather than political winds.â€
â€œI like to think thatÂ Romneyâ€™s religious heritage would lend itself to more conviction,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m just not sure at this point. Although, being scared of Obamaâ€™s convictions, maybe I should be more excited about supporting the middle ground over the worst.â€
To read more, visit:Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/6/romney-needs-to-get-small-donors-hooked/
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