John McCain's once high-flying presidential campaign finds itself on the ropes.
Crowned the GOP front-runner by Time's Karen Tumulty back in August of 2005 (and followed by the rest of the pack), the Arizona senator raised just $11.2 million last quarter -- less than the disappointing $13.1 million he pulled down in the first quarter. LINK
McCain's campaign, which was derided earlier this year by one of its own supporters as being a "bureaucratic monster," has only $2 million on hand. LINK
To put its cash-on-hand number in perspective, consider that if it had been available before Barron's went to press with its current "investors' guide to the candidates" issue, McCain would not have even merited inclusion. (Barron's only sent questionnaires to all candidates with "more than $3 million in campaign cash on hand"). LINK
For the second quarter in a row, McCain is re-organizing his campaign. Per ABC News' John Berman, the McCain camp is "laying off staff in every department. Senior staff is taking a pay cut, and campaign manager Terry Nelson is working for free." LINK
Per the AP's Liz Sidoti, those lay-offs amount to "more than 50 staffers, and perhaps as many as 80 to 100." LINK
The insta-reaction on the web to the McCain campaign's Monday conference call with reporters was as swift as it was scathing.
From the New York Sun's Ryan Sager: "Spread some butter on this guy . . . he's toast." LINK
(DNC Chairman, Howard Dean, was far kinder to McCain on cable television when he chalked up talk of his demise to inside-the-Beltway punditry. Of course, Democrats are not likely all that eager to see McCain bow out of this race just yet.)
While McCain continues his Iraq trip on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and her spouse continue their three-day tour of Iowa with a 2:00 pm ET appearance at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and a 5:30 pm ET appearance in Davenport.
The Clintons will not have Iowa to themselves on Tuesday.
Fundraising powerhouse Barack Obama has a 1:45 pm ET meeting with residents at Hawthore Elementary School in Keokuk followed by a 4:45 pm ET house party in Mt. Pleasant, and an 8:45 pm ET event at Fairfield Town Square which will be broadcast live on C-SPAN.
John Edwards spends Tuesday in North Carolina helping his wife celebrate her 58th birthday.
Bill Richardson speaks to the National Education Association in Philadelphia at 3:45 pm ET. He also campaigns in Greenville, NH.
Also speaking to the NEA on Tuesday will be Dennis Kucinich at 2:30 pm ET. (Obama, Joe Biden, and Mike Huckabee speak Thursday).
As for the Republicans not named McCain: Mitt Romney holds events in Council Bluffs (8:15 am ET), Red Oak (10:30 am ET), Atlantic (12:45 pm ET), and Creston (3:15 pm ET). The former governor also marches in the West Des Moines Independence Day parade at 7:30 pm ET.
Rudy Giuliani has no public events scheduled.
On the day of his book launch, "From Power to Purpose: A Remarkable Journey of Faith and Compassion," Sam Brownback campaigns in Iowa. He tours businesses in Mason City and Story City before attending a parade in Ashworth.
For his part, Chris Dodd, who raised a modest $3.25 million in the second quarter, makes an 8:30 am ET appearance in Davenport before attending an 11:30 am ET town hall meeting in Burlington, a 3:00 pm ET meeting in Ottumwa, and a 7:30 pm ET appearance in West Des Moines.
Joe Biden, who has yet to release how much money he raised over the last three months, attends a breakfast in Cedar Rapids, a luncheon in Grinnell, a news conference in Des Moines, and a barbecue and fundraiser for a state representative in Creston.
President Bush spends his day in Washington with no public schedule.
POLITICAL STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM:
ABC News John Berman: "Struggling McCain Camp Reduces Staff" http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3338856&page=1
ABC News' Rick Klein: "Democrats Trouncing GOP in Money Race" http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3338601&page=1
ABC News' Jason Ryan and Theresa Cook: "Appeal Denied, Libby to Prison Soon" http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/appeal-denied-l.html
ABC News' Stephanie Smith: "Bush and Putin: A Fishy Story" http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/a-fish-story.html