Will Hollywood Republicans rally for Mitt Romney?
That may change Tuesday night, when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds his first Hollywood fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“I do think most [Hollywood Republicans] are for Romney, but they haven’t publicly come out and endorsed him," said Harry Sloan, the former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chief turned investor who is an organizer of tonight's event. "There hasn’t been much courting of Hollywood."
By this point in the 2008 presidential election, the small group of Republicans in Hollywood had begun to rally around their candidates. That isn't happening this year, said Sloan.
"There isn’t near as much going on at this point in time as I thought there would be, or as there was in the past," Sloan said. "[In 2008], there were Giuliani supporters at this time, there were Romney supporters at this time, there were certainly McCain supporters at this time. There were three decent groups at that point. Now you’ve got the Mitt supporters and you’ve got the people who know ultimately they’re gonna be Mitt supporters.”
Tickets for tonight's Romney fundraiser are $2,500. Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns said that though he won't be able to attend the event, he is backing Romney.
"I've swung to him," Burns said of the former Massachusetts governor. "I've been watching the debates and I feel he's the best chance Republicans have."
Though he's currently rising in the polls, Newt Gingrich has yet to hold a major fundraiser in Los Angeles. Herman Cain and Rick Perry--other Republicans candidates who enjoyed a temporary surge in polls--also failed to gain much traction here.
“Hollywood Republicans don’t tend to be as focused on religious and social conservative issues," Sloan said. "That’s good for Romney, because Romney’s message is economic.”
--Rebecca Keegan and Ben Fritz
Photo: Mitt Romney signs autographs and talks with supporters at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, Ariz., on Dec. 6. Credit: Laura Segall / Reuters