The campaign finance reports that came out today highlight prodigious fundraising by all the major candidates for governor. Scott Walker has raised $2.5 million in the last six months. Tom Barrett raised $2.4 million.
Republican Mark Neumann lagged behind.
Those were the words AP reporter Scott Bauer used. Truthful, but I don't think they capture the more significant part of the story: Neumann is still in it to win it! At $1.9 million, his numbers are not shabby, and what he lacks he can easily make up with his vast personal wealth.
What I have been discussing with virtually anybody who will listen is Neumann's window of opportunity to jump back in the race with a barrage of TV ads. The GOP is trying desperately to isolate him and push him out of the race. The ham-handed letter written by like Jim Klauser and angry blog posts from GOP insiders reveals the awareness and fear of Neumann's wealth in the party. They know a nasty primary could leave the nominee bloodied, bruised, and most importantly, poor in the general election.
According to the polls, Neumann has a lot of ground to make up. That might entail some serious attack ads. If Walker is above 50 percent that might be the only way to knock him down.
As long as the donors keep giving, Neumann has no reason to reconsider his campaign. Au contraire. He just might take it to the finish line.