GOP presidential candidate Lamar Alexander is sharply reducing the size and scope of his campaign because of difficulty in raising money.
The tremendous popularity of Texas George W. Bush, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, has created fund-raising difficulties for Alexander and other Republican hopefuls.
Tom Rath, a top Alexander aide, said the former Tennessee governor plans to remain in the campaign through the Iowa straw poll on Aug. 14.
Campaign officials believe the Iowa straw poll is a major way that Alexander can demonstrate support and begin to get credibility again.
Like all of the other GOP contenders, Alexander hopes that once Bush gets out on the campaign trail, the press and voter scrutiny will begin, and Bush's poll numbers will come down.
Alexander began running for the presidency almost as soon as the 1996 campaign ended. He finished a strong third in Iowa and New Hampshire four years ago, giving him an edge heading into the next campaign cycle.
He began the year with high hopes, planning to raise at least $15 million to establish himself as the leading GOP moderate in the race. Starting early, he established one of the strongest organizations in Iowa and New Hampshire.
But the Texas governor has frustrated Alexander's fund-raising efforts. By the end of June, Alexander expects to have raised just $2.5 million compared to the $7 million or so he had planned to collect. As a result, campaign staffing and travel will be reduced substantially.
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