As the third quarter fundraising period draws to a close Friday, the Romney campaign is feeling pretty confident — especially in the Sunshine State.
Several sources close to the campaign told ABC News that there has been a noticeable peak in interest since last week’s debate in Orlando, during which GOP frontrunner Rick Perry garnered an onslaught of criticism for his floundering performance.
One top fundraiser said his phone has been “ringing off the hook” in the past few days.
But in addition to rallying the enthusiasm of their base, Romney sources say that donors are opening their pocketbooks in the wake of Perry’s debate performance.
“I think that one of the things that’s pretty remarkable is the change that really took place after [the debate],” said Ambassador John Rood, Romney’s Florida finance co-chair. “I’ve never seen such a change in fortune like I saw after the debate.”
“There were obviously many people watching closely to determine where they were going to go this election,” Rood added. ”The debate had a big influence on who these people were going to support.”
And for this shift to happen right before the fundraising deadline?
“The timing was perfect,” quipped Rood.
Campaign sources say that like last quarter, none of Romney’s personal fortune will be contributed to the campaign. This quarter will show only money raised for the primary election and not for the general election. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Romney gave as much as $35 million out of his own pocket to his campaign.
While last quarter saw an impressive $18 million haul, campaign sources say that fundraising has slowed but that it was “to be expected. Florida was one of the states with the highest dollar number for contributions last quarter, netting the campaign $1.4 million.
Asked for a comment on the fundraising, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: “We expect to raise what we need to run a competitive campaign.”