Romney campaign touts fundraising after Ryan announcement
POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Friday, August 17, 2012 - 10:14am
CNN — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is touting new fundraising numbers since the announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.
In a statement released to reporters Friday, campaign manager Matt Rhoades said "it's clear that (Romney's) choice has reshaped the race in a positive way."
Romney announced Ryan, a House Budget chairman from Wisconsin, as his chosen vice presidential candidate in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday.
The Obama campaign, however, said Thursday that the Republican challenger's vice presidential pick was hurting the ticket.
"This reflects something about Mitt Romney's decision making priorities and what he did was he tapped as a running mate the person who's been dubbed the leader of the most extreme wing of the Congressional Republicans," Obama campaign pollster Joel Benenson said Thursday in a conference call following the release of a polling memo to reporters.
Benenson said that "if anything, (Ryan is) a drag on the ticket."
Benenson pointed to a Gallup poll showing that just 39% of respondents viewed Romney's choice of Ryan as "excellent" or "good," the lowest positive response rate since the organization began asking the question in 1988. Gallup also found that 42% felt that Ryan was an "only fair" or "poor" choice, the second highest negative rating of a VP selection since Dan Quayle.
The Romney campaign says the increase in fundraising shows the presumptive GOP nominee is gaining ground with voters.
The presumptive GOP nominee received over $10 million in online donations since the vice president announcement with the average donor giving $81, according to the release.
Andrea Saul, Romney's campaign press secretary, wrote on Twitter the campaign had raised $3.5 million online in the first 24 hours after Romney's vice presidential announcement and a total of $7.4 million raised in the 72 hours after the announcement.
Romney's fundraising numbers immediately following the vice presidential announcement can be compared to the Republican ticket's in 2008. Sen. John McCain raised about $4 million online in the 24 hours after the Palin announcement and $10 million over the next three days.
Rhoades also said the Romney campaign's website traffic has gotten a boost following the announcement, with 2 million visitors since the vice presidential candidate's roll out.
In the statement, Rhoades also pointed to recent polling data showing the Romney/Ryan team taking a lead over President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden nationally.
According to a Gallup poll, 47% of registered voters supported Romney and 45% supported President Barack Obama in the four days of their daily tracking poll following Romney's Saturday morning announcement that the seven-term congressman from Wisconsin would be his running mate on the Republican ticket. That's little change from the four days before the announcement when 46% of registered voters said they would back Romney and 45% backing the president.
The campaign says the duo's social media popularity has also taken a jump in the past seven days. Romney's added over 500,000 Facebook 'likes' and now has over 4 million, and the candidate's Twitter account now has 861,000 followers.
Ryan--who, as polling shows, was relatively unknown outside of his home state of Wisconsin prior to being tapped as Romney's running mate -- now has added 860,000 Facebook 'likes' and 118,500 Twitter followers, according to the Romney campaign statement.
Rhoades said "The Obama team's increasing vitriol is a sure sign that they're rattled by the pick. Unable to engage in an elevated policy debate, they've spent the past few days drowning in their own venom."
"President Obama is on defense over his $716 billion raid of current Medicare beneficiaries to pay for Obamacare, and allowing the hospital trust fund to go broke by the time those aged 50 or below are Medicare eligible," Rhoades said in the statement. "The political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warned this week that the issue could cost Democrats the election."
--CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Adam Aigner-Treworgy, Peter Hamby and Greg Wallace contributed to this report
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By Dana Davidsen