But after his wins this week in Arizona and Michigan, GOP strategists said the former governor was well-positioned to jump-start a more ambitious small-donor program.
"A lot of small dollars flow with momentum, and I think he's got a lot of opportunity now with two wins," said Guy Short, a senior advisor to Bachmann who oversaw her enormous success among small donors. "Certainly, there is a large part of the Republican base that he has not successfully closed the sale with. He needs to make an argument why he can defeat Barack Obama and why conservatives ought to be comfortable with him."
Ultimately, if Romney continues to outpace his rivals, small donors will gravitate to him, said Nancy Bocskor, a GOP fundraiser and professor of fundraising at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.
"Everyone," she said, "wants to coalesce around the winner."
Times staff writer Maeve Reston in Novi, Mich., contributed to this report.
This article first appeared at latimes.com