For campaigns, Ga. monetary contributions count
by Bill Barrow
Associated Press Writer
October 26, 2012 02:51 AM | 546 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Georgia started the 2012 election season on the list of potential presid- ential battlegrounds. It’s finishing as an afterthought as President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney spend the closing days in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado and a handful of other states that will settle the election.

Polling suggests Romney will carry Georgia comfort- ably on Nov. 6, likely by a wider margin than John McCain’s five-point win four years ago but considerably closer than the blowout totals the Republican nominee will post in other Deep South states.

But Georgians have found other ways to matter, with their checkbooks and by volunteering to help the campaigns in other states that will go down to the wire. Players for both campaigns say they are pleased with Georgia’s place on the electoral map.

“There is a lot more enthusiasm for Governor Romney than there was for Senator McCain,” said Romney’s Georgia Finance Chairman Eric Tanenblatt, who also serves on Romney’s national fundraising team. “We will deliver our electoral votes for the governor, and we’re helping him win elsewhere, too.”

State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon refused to dismiss the possibility of an upset, though he conceded it would come only with “everything lining up” for an overwhelming Democratic turnout.

Democrats haven’t won the state in a presidential election since 1992, when then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton topped President George H.W. Bush and Texas billionaire Ross Perot. And the party’s fortunes have taken a dive since Obama’s inauguration. Republicans swept statewide offices in 2010 and are on the cusp of supermajority in both houses of the General Assembly.

That landscape aside, Romney and Obama have each tapped Georgia for a load of campaign cash.

According to the latest Federal Elections Commission tallies, Romney has raised at least $8.8 million for his principal campaign account. The president has collected at least $7.1 million. For those accounts, contributors are capped at $5,000 limits: $2,500 each for the primary and general election.

Tanenblatt said the Republican total grows to more than $16.5 million, including contributions over the individual minimum that go to the Romney Victory Fund shared by the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee and other party accounts.
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