Back in April, McCain reported raising 13 million dollars, with about 5 million on hand and 2 million in debt. Now, the campaign acknowledges raising only 11 million since April 15th and the campaign has 2 million in the bank. That means his campaign burned about 8 million dollars (assuming the debts didn’t have to be immediately repaid) in about 3 and a half months for the first quarter.
That’s a burn rate of 61% for the first quarter. Doing the same math means that McCain’s burned 82% of his funding in the second quarter. So we can see that the McCain campaign’s fund-raising has decreased since the last quarter yet it’s spending at a faster rate. Now, math has never been my forte but coupled with McCain’s bad poll numbers that are decreasing means that McCain’s getting more and more unpopular despite his spending which in turn decreases his fund-raising. Presently, according to DailyWrit’s election tracker (courtesy of James), McCain’s averaging at about 20% nationally but his poll numbers are declining with the entry of Fred Thompson into the Republican Primary.
Things have gotten so bad that McCain’s considering accepting public funding, however that severely constrains his ability to spend money and remain competitive. Ultimately, money at this stage of the campaign may not matter much. Just ask Howard Dean how his 40 million dollar internet bonanza fared when John Kerry mortgaged his house and won Iowa. However, McCain’s lackluster fund-raising numbers and poll numbers betray a deeper problem with his candidacy; his positions are fundamentally at odds with the majority of people who are likely to turn out in the Iowa Caucus or New Hampshire Primary. Even more problematic is that McCain skipped an Iowa straw poll earlier this year which incited a slew of news reports speculating that McCain would skip Iowa like he did in the 2000 campaign. Now, he can try to fall back and concentrate on New Hampshire but too bad that’s on the doorstep of Romney’s Massachusetts stronghold. Perhaps McCain can try to win South Carolina, but then again that’s also the state in which Karl Rove spread rumors that John McCain fathered an illegitimate black child…oh and social conservatives aren’t going to come flocking to McCain just because he spoke at Jerry Falwell’s bastion of religious tolerance Liberty University. After all, he called many social conservative leaders, agents of intolerance.
Essentially, unless the surge in Iraq suddenly quells all secretarian violence, and you can walk around Baghdad without wearing a flak jacket, or congress decides to pass comprehensive immigration reform and illegal immigration suddenly stops…or John McCain wins the Texas lottery, his campaign is running into serious trouble.