Mitt Romney’s small victory in the state of Michigan, where his father was governor and where he grew up, says a lot about this Republican’s weaknesses. With a three-point difference from Rick Santorum, it’s a meager victory, especially considering that he won thanks to the votes of Republicans from the suburbs of Detroit, the place he spent his childhood. But in the end, Santorum is leaving Michigan with almost the same number of delegates as the Mormon candidate; this is nothing to be pleased about.
The only ones smiling are the consultants orbiting around Mitt Romney’s campaign and collecting millions of dollars.
American presidential campaigns have always called upon the services of consultants to create television spots or to carry out polls, but according to a Washington Post study, the ex-governor of Massachusetts is relying extensively on consultants, allowing for a less-transparent campaign. One thing is certain though: The $64 million raised at this point by the Republican have come from supporters with very deep pockets; but unlike Barack Obama’s campaign, very few of these supporters are ordinary citizens. Until now, Romney has spent $300,000 more than Barack Obama to raise funds, but has collected two times less.
And the differences between the two campaigns don’t stop there. Similarly, Romney paid Spencer Zwick, an ex-collaborator turned independent consultant, $4.6 million, while for the same service, Obama paid $75,000. For some, Romney’s campaign is a godsend. Another consulting firm received $15.4 million for buying advertising space. In January, 15 percent of the money raised by Romney went directly into the pockets of consultants. In Obama’s campaign, this only represents 4 percent of expenses, whereas it’s 10 percent for Romney’s Republican adversaries.
Consultants of all stripes are going to be doing some serious business with Romney in the coming months. The Republican primary race is far from being over. Santorum, the candidate that called Barack Obama a “snob” because he hopes that as many young Americans as possible go to college (proof of the ex-Pennsylvania senator’s stature), isn’t ready to throw in the towel any more than Newt Gingrich. Romney needs to raise some enormous sums if he hopes to make it out of this Republican cut-throat competition.
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