Rep. Perlmutter, courtesy of his Twitter profile

When U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced he would drop out of the Colorado Governor’s race, we were shocked. In political circles, he was known as the man to beat. Those close to Perlmutter said that he just didn’t have fire in the belly for the race, particularly after the shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise at a baseball practice. That may be true – or it may be that he couldn’t raise money.

Perlmutter’s campaign finance report shows that he raised just $339,000 in his first quarter as a candidate for Governor. Contrast that with his opponent, state Sen. Michael Johnston, who raised almost twice that ($625,000) the first quarter of his race.

Perlmutter’s fundraising is shockingly low, especially for a sitting Congressman and number like that can’t compete with fellow U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’s bottomless bucket o’cash.

Is this terrible fundraising the real reason that Perlmutter bowed out of the gubernatorial race?  Is he a victim of too-low campaign finance limits that only permit the rich to fund their own elections? We’re sure he will never tell, but it’s incredibly interesting.