Political Party Time

Ryan not messing with Texas

Although presidential hopeful Mitt Romney trailed Barack Obama's Sept. fundraising efforts, staffers of the Romney Victory Fund remain confident in the campaign's financial strength in the weeks leading up to election day. In fact, they are so optimistic that they have voluntarily canceled a $25,000 per couple breakfast with Rep. Paul Ryan. But even if they did have a surplus of cash, why would the campaign refuse such a massive pay-off?

In a letter to (former) attendees - which you can see below - Romney Victory fundraising consultant Krystle Alvarado explains:

Since Governor Romney's first debate a couple of weeks ago, online contributions have gone through the roof... We weighed the two options of taking [Rep. Paul Ryan] out of the battleground states for high dollar events or keeping him where he needs to be, connecting with the voters in Ohio, Virginia, Florida and the rest of the ever expanding map.

This strategy explains the abandonment of Ryan's lucrative $25,000 breakfast, despite the hefty price tag. It was to have taken place in solidly Republican Midland, Texas, the former home of Presidents George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush. But the lure of oil patch cash wasn't enough for Ryan at this late stage of the election. Instead of heading to Texas, whose 38 electoral votes appear destined to go to Romney, the Republican nominee's runningmate is journeying into the crucial battleground states that will decide the election.

Potential VP Ryan has been a workhorse for the Romney campaign, attending at least 13 fundraisers in the month of October and about three dozen since being picked as Romney's running mate in early August. His efforts alone have raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the former Massachusetts Gov.

Ryan's mission to woo undecided voters (and get some green) continues this week when he and Romney will waltz through Florida, attending three fundraisers in as many days to benefit Romney Victory. The first is a private dinner at Old Collier Country Club in Naples that will, conveniently, cost $25,000 per plate. The very next day, Ryan will again be the guest of honor at a VIP reception and dinner in Boca Raton. Snapping a photo with the potential veep will run you $10,000, but dinner will again run you a cool $25,000. But the main event occurs on Oct. 20, when Romney himself appears at a $50,000-a-plate dinner at a private residence in Palm Beach.

With fundraising efforts eclipsing expectations, the Palm Beach fundraiser may also be Romney's last according to Brian Ballard, a finance co-chairman for Romney in Florida. The decision comes amid Obama's own call to quit fundraising in order to focus on campaigning.

The letter from Alvarado may praise the size of the Romney campaign's "strength" and bank account, but she's quick to remind supporters that the race - and the fundraising - isn't over yet:

"This is not to say that we don't need your help raising money!"

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