This from John Green:
Let me hazard an answer to Mark’s puzzlement about Mike Huckabee’s well-documented fundraising woes. Several factors are worth considering. It could be, as Mark suggests, that some wealthy Republican donors have been put off by the candidate’s populist stands on economic issues. Likewise, stalwart conservative contributors may dislike his political heterodoxy. Certainly Huckabee has received extensive criticism from all manner of Republican and conservative leaders. It makes sense that he would not draw well among the usual run of GOP donors.
But the pool of campaign contributors doesn’t just include fat cats and right-wingers, even on the Republican side. Witness the funds raised by maverick John McCain and libertarian Ron Paul. Certainly past Christian conservative candidates have been able to raise funds, such as Pat Robertson in 1988 and Gary Bauer in 2000.
My guess is that the Huckabee campaign has simply lacked the basic resources needed to raise money: name recognition, time, and organization. Remember that Huckabee was virtually unknown for most of 2007 when his rivals were hitting the chicken-and-peas circuit. Then his rise to prominence was sudden, giving him little time to exploit his new fame. And he apparently had a very rudimentary finance organization—something that is crucial no matter how one raises money, whether by personal solicitation, events, direct mail, or telephone solicitation.
Such organization is especially important if a candidate needs to appeal to donors with special characteristics—like populist conservative Christians—because it is harder to locate and solicit new kinds of donors. In fact, it may have been internet fundraising from his enthusiastic grassroots supporters that has kept the campaign supplied with the shoe strings it has.
One indication of these organizational problems may be the fact that Huckabee has not applied for public matching funds from the Federal Election Commission. Matching funds are a great source of money for campaigns like his, but it requires a good bit of organization apply for them. Be all this as it may, it’s worth pondering this map of Huckabee’s donors through the end of September. It’s pretty much a guide to where the evangelicals are.
This from John Green: