Senate GOP candidates backed by the Tea Party movement have received much less financial support than more established candidates from their party’s leading contenders for the White House.
The GOP figures jockeying for a 2012 bid have largely avoided contributing from their political action committees (PACs) to Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, thumb Rand Paul in Kentucky, Joe Miller in Alaska, Mike Lee in Utah, Ken Buck in Colorado and Sharron Angle in Nevada.
All six won GOP contests against rivals backed by the Republican establishment, largely because of support from the Tea Party movement. O’Donnell knocked off a sitting GOP House member, while Miller and Lee bested incumbent GOP senators.
But the six have received only a combined $38,000 from 10 leading Republicans thought to be eyeing a White House run. In comparison, Rob Portman, a former congressman and Bush administration official who is the GOP Senate candidate in Ohio, has received $29,400 alone.
Most of the donations to the Tea Party six has come from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.
Romney has donated the maximum $5,000 to O’Donnell, Lee, Buck and Angle, while Palin’s PAC distributed $9,500 to the six candidates, according to an analysis of campaign donations conducted by The Hill.
By contrast, sitting Republican senators and candidates recruited by national Republicans to run for the Senate have netted almost a quarter-million in donations.
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