Mitt’s California Cash Dash

Five stop swing expected to raise $2 million


It's still unclear whether California will matter to the outcome of the GOP nomination fight.

That'll be determined by how the primaries shake out in the next six weeks in states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

But California's traditional influence in the bottom line remains.

Mitt Romney, aided by Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, expects to raise a tidy $2 million during a five-stop swing in California that wraps up late Tuesday.

Romney made appearances in San Diego and San Francisco on Monday, and on Tuesday hits Stockton, Orange County and Los Angeles.

California Republicans have already kicked in an estimated $12 million, according to federal election records,

Those donations have gone either directly to Romney's campaign or to PACs that support his candidacy.

Federal law restricts individual contributions to $2,500 per election cycle. The treadmill of fundraisers this week is designed to net all those individual checks.

But there's another purpose, and it speaks to Romney's confidence that he'll be the GOP nominee.

Romney is trying to secure firm support from deep-pocketed donors who can then turn around and cut him another check in the fall, when new contribution limits kick in.

That's where Meg Whitman comes in. She helped raise money for Romney during his 2008 run, and is doing identical duty this year, by tapping into her network of corporate friends.

One thing is certain. Any of the money Romney, Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich raises in California won't be spent here. It'll funnel directly to TV ads in states like Wisconsin.

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