unday ends the Third Quarter. The expectations game has begun. Some think
Thompson needs $10M a month to be competitive. Thompson folks will say they need far less since he already has name recognition and standing in the polls. (But without a burst of $15-20M up front can his rivals say “So where’s all that pent up demand?”) McCain may have to decide whether to follow John Edwards lead
and take matching funds — a last ditch move with potentially fatal consequences down the road. If Huckabee shows some results he may finally put to rest the critics who say he’s a nice face and a good TV performer but can’t mount a serious effort. As for Romney, everyone will want to see how big a check he writes and whether he can reinvigorate his fundraising machine to come in first (as he did in the First Quarter) in funds actually raised. For Giuliani, was the dismissal of their fundraising chief a hint of a hitch or needed housekeeping? After all the expectations gamesmanship and all the headlines there is only one thing that counts: who has a big wad of cash on hand to buy media in big and little states and fuel a multi-state organization that must deliver in less than 4 months. All the rest is commentary.