The Five Most Important Senate Fundraising Reports
At midnight tonight, the first fundraising quarter of the year comes to a close, bringing to an end a make or break three months for many federal candidates around the country.
A surprisingly strong quarter can turn what looked like a longshot into the next big thing. (See Rubio, Marco.) A disappointing last three months can spell the beginning of the end (or the end of the end) for a candidate.
Given the deluge of numbers that will be flying our way over the next 24 to 48 hours, it seemed useful to offer up five specific Senate candidates who have the most to gain (or lose) in their fundraising reports.
Have suggestions of candidates we missed? The comments section awaits.
* Bill Halter: The buzz around Halter's candidacy is that he is going to post an eye-popping number despite being in the primary race against Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) for just one month. (He officially announced on March 1.) Halter has quickly become the darling of national liberal groups, four of whom helped raised $1 million for him in the space of 36 hours. Lincoln's major advantage in the May 18 primary has long been the $5 million she has in her campaign account. If Halter, who is currently the state's lieutenant governor, is able to halve that margin (or come close to it) in the space of a month, it will make Lincoln's already tough race that much more difficult.
* Charlie Crist: Even as Crist saw his fortunes tumble in his primary fight against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, he was still able to fundraise (and fundraise and fundraise). In the final three months of the year, Crist raised $2.1 million -- roughly $400,000 more than Rubio -- and ended the period with $7.5 million on hand. With Rubio, who has become a national conservative darling in recent months, expected to have a HUGE quarter, it seems possible that Crist will be outraised -- a dangerous precedent as the governor seeks to rebuild some semblance of momentum in advance of the state's Aug. 24 primary. One thing that should comfort Crist: he is certain to retain a cash on hand edge, having closed 2009 with $7.5 million(!) in the bank as compared to $2.1 million for Rubio.
* Lee Fisher: National Democrats acknowledge that Fisher's campaign didn't get off to the best start but note that he now has a new team in place -- including campaign manager Jay Howser -- and the latest Quinnipiac poll shows him leading former Rep. Rob Portman (R). True enough. But, Ohio is a big and expensive state in which to run for Senate, and, at the end of 2009, Portman had $6 million in the bank while Fisher, who is currently the lieutenant governor, had just $1.8 million. Fisher's establishment support and money edge over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner should carry him through the May 4 primary but he needs to have had a big first quarter to build momentum as the general election starts in earnest.
* Kelly Ayotte: New Hampshire isn't the easiest place in the world to raise the millions of dollars one needs to run for Senate but when you are running against a multimillionaire there isn't much room for excuses. Welcome to the world of Kelly Ayotte, the former state Attorney General and favorite of the Washington political establishment. Ayotte raised a decent but far from spectacular $631,000 in the final three months of 2009 even as wealthy businessman Bill Binnie was dumping over $1 million of his own dollars into the race. Binnie, who apparently is committed to spending more from his own pocket, is already up on television with ads introducing himself to voters. Ayotte won't be able to compete directly with Binnie's check book but she needs a strong fundraising quarter to keep the title of frontrunner -- on which she currently has a somewhat precarious hold.
* Andrew Romanoff: Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado state House, drew some positive press when he beat appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in the state's Democratic caucuses earlier this month. But, that victory will be rendered almost entirely meaningless if Romanoff can't show an ability to stay within financial shouting distance of Bennet in advance of their primary faceoff in August. Bennet raised $1.16 million in the final quarter of 2009 and had President Barack Obama in to raise money for him last month. Romanoff, on the other hand, brought in just $337,000 over the last quarter of 2009 of fundraising -- not nearly enough to reach the far broader primary electorate in a meaningful way. Romanoff need a better quarter to make a credible case that he can take Bennet down later this summer.
Posted by: 37thand0street | March 31, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 37thand0street | March 31, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Noacoler | March 31, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 31, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SuzyCcup | March 31, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SuzyCcup | March 31, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 31, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: GJonahJameson | March 31, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | March 31, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 31, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 37thand0street | March 31, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: reason5 | March 31, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: reason5 | March 31, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | March 31, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: shrink2 | March 31, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.