The first real test of electoral support among the crowded GOP presidential field doesn’t come for more than five months — the Iowa caucuses are set for January 18, 2016. But already those far-off gatherings of Iowa voters are becoming potential make-or-break events for at least one Republican hopeful whose campaign is said to be running critically short of cash.
The Washington Post reports that Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is so cash-strapped that it has stopped paying its staff. But while the former Texas governor is reportedly having a hard time with fundraising, the super PAC supporting his candidacy has millions in the bank.
Perry, who has struggled to gain traction in his second presidential run, has stopped paying his staff at the national headquarters in Austin as well as in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to a Republican familiar with the Perry campaign who demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
While he was given generally good marks for his debate performance in the early round last Thursday on Fox News, Perry failed to break out of the seven-person pack with the kind of rising-star status that Carly Fiorina has enjoyed. The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls finds the former governor stuck in lackluster land with a 1.8 percent standing that puts him behind John Kasich and just ahead of Rick Santorum.
Perry’s Twitter feed highlights the time he has spent in Iowa before the debate and since. Perry retweeted a post from a political columnist for the Des Moines Register in which the Texan is said to have emphasized his interest in The Hawkeye State.
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As for the Perry-promoting super PAC’s ability to keep the former governor in the race as a viable candidate, the organization cannot legally coordinate with the Perry campaign, but it can spend generously on keeping hope alive.
“Austin Barbour, senior adviser to the super PAC, said the group would step up ‘to aggressively support the governor in a number of different ways.'” says the Post article on Perry’s cash shortage.
“We’ve got plenty of money,” Barbour said. “That’s what I know. And we’re going to put that money to use in Iowa to make sure the governor is in the top three there. The super PAC is not going to let Rick Perry down.”
Meantime, the campaign workers in Iowa who had been on the Perry payroll have reportedly decided to stick with the governor on a volunteer basis, at least for now.
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