Who Wins Chris Christie's Campaign Donors: Mitt Romney or Rick Perry?

Article excerpt

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are now scrambling to win over big donors who were backing Gov. Chris Christie. Rick Perry reportedly has $17 million in donations this quarter.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took about two minutes Tuesday afternoon to tell reporters he wasn't going to run for president. (The gregarious governor then spent about 50 minutes taking questions on the subject.)

Christie put it simply: "New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."

Let's cut to the chase: With the (ahem) biggest threat out of the way, what does that mean for the GOP field?

That furious pounding you hear is Mitt Romney and Rick Perry hammering at their phones, reaching out to donors who were waiting out "the reconsideration" in New Jersey, as Christie put it.

Consider that a mere three minutes into Christie's press conference, the Perry campaign tweeted:

"Rick Perry raised at least $15 million for 3Q, beating Romney's 'as much as' $13 million ..."

The Perry people may as well have put up a massive neon sign to big-dollar GOP donors shouting "PERRY IS RAISING SERIOUS CAMPAIGN CASH."

Perry's number is below Romney's second-quarter haul of $18 million. But given that his faltering debate performances may have curtailed his fundraising - and all the Christie speculation likely had some donors sitting on the sidelines - it ain't bad. …