McCain Quits Money Race, Will Accept Public Funds

Despite McCain’s best efforts to begin raising decent amounts of cash as the presumptive Republican nominee, it just hasn’t happened and the campaign has finally decided to fold. News is today that McCain will accept public financing of his campaign instead of relying on fund raising from donors.

Here’s the report from The Politico:

John McCain is abandoning any hope of catching the Democrats in fundraising.

Based on new financial disclosure reports released Sunday, and interviews with his finance team, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee will instead accept taxpayer money to finance his general election and share other costs with the Republican National Committee.

The strategy will allow McCain to stretch his campaign dollars by splitting the cost of television advertising and other campaign activity with the RNC.

But the decision also puts the Arizona senator at risk of being badly outspent – even with RNC help – by a Democratic nominee who will be allowed to spend as much as he or she can raise on the November race.

McCain has raised a total of $72 million for his presidential bid, including $15 million in March. He ended last month with about $11.5 million in cash.

In contrast, Democrat Barack Obama has raised more than $236 million for his campaign. He raised nearly $43 million in March and ended the month with $51 million in cash and no debts.

What this basically means is that McCain has conceded he has not, and will not, be able to entice the big money Republican donors to open their checkbooks. It essentially means that McCain has acknowledge his financial disadvantage considering the huge sums Obama, and to a lesser extent Clinton, is bringing in on a monthly basis.

McCain’s decision to bow out of the campaign money race upends the conventional thinking at the start of the 2008 season. At that time, most political players – including McCain – expected any serious candidate to forgo participating in the taxpayer financed system because of the spending limits imposed by it.

It also could also have a negative rippling effect inside the Republican Party.

In the past two cycles, the national headquarters increasingly has been forced to come to the rescue of House and Senate candidates who were badly outspent by the Democrats.

Today, the congressional Democrats’ financial advantages have grown substantially while their Republican counterparts’ situation is increasingly dire.

Ripple effect indeed, this will not help the Republican Party in general since the RNC will now have to help McCain make up the difference. In turn, that will pull vital resources from congressional campaigns.