Recently I heard an unconfirmed rumor that Sam Brownback’s presidential campaign is not long for this world.
Brownback campaign spokesman Brian Hart says, “That’s not the case. We’re in for the long haul, and we expect good fundraising numbers.”
Hart wouldn’t give an estimate of what makes good fundraising numbers, but said, “The numbers I have heard have been promising. Senator Brownback plans on being at the debate in Michigan (October 9), we still have travel plans, and he’s in Wyoming today. It’s still full steam ahead.”
So is this rumor bunk? I heard it from someone sympathetic to the Kansas senator, so this doesn’t appear to be an opposition disinformation effort trying to bury them or discourage their supporters. Brownback’s third-place finish in the Iowa straw poll couldn’t have helped matters much, and we’ll see soon whether that disappointment hurt his already meager fundraising numbers. (Last quarter he raised $1.42 million, and had a little over $460k cash-on-hand.) I was surprised he wasn’t at the NRA candidate forum last week, and Rich’s post-straw-poll column – saying Brownback’s campaign had reached the condition of “extreme pointlessness” – made a tough case for why social and religious conservatives need to coalesce around one Not-Rudy candidate. He hasn’t performed badly in the recent debates, but he hasn’t broken out of the pack in any of them, either.
If Brownback is still around in January, forget I ever wrote this; we will be able to conclude that this was another one of those rumors that floats around from time to time. (How many times have we heard Al Gore was considering running?) But as it gets closer to crunch time, and Brownback doesn’t make up much ground, the thought of his departure doesn’t seem implausible…