December 3, 2012

Potential 2016 Candidates Already Courting Donors

Politico has the story:

A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions.
Planning a presidential campaign used to mean having coffee with county party chairs in their Iowa or New Hampshire living rooms. The courting of Adelson, a full four years out from 2016, demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.

And prospective candidates from both parties are wasting little time schmoozing potential super PAC funders.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is meeting with big donors in Los Angeles this week and has a fundraiser scheduled for next Monday in the Washington suburbs. Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) have been meeting with big donors, leaving the impression that they’re ready to run.

Full story here.

by @ 6:53 pm. Filed under 2016, Fundraising

October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Impacts Election

In yesterday’s post, I wondered aloud if Hurricane Sandy might impact the election in eleven days. Well, it already has.

The Miami Herald reports:

A fundraiser for President Barack Obama was reluctantly cancelled Thursday night after the winds from Hurricane Sandy blew up a transformer and knocked out power to the event’s Wynwood venue.

The Young and Powerful for Obama had hoped to fill Cafeina Wynwood with song and drink and raise a few dollars along the way when it went dark just after 6 p.m.

Those already in attendance were told by security to drink up and leave because it was too dangerous.

I honestly doubt this will have that much affect on the big picture. The Obama Camp will hardly notice any shortfall of revenue from this little event. It probably wouldn’t amount to much more than a rounding error. Still, every little bit helps.

 

by @ 8:45 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Barack Obama, Fundraising

October 25, 2012

Romney Raised +$110 Million the First Half of October.

The debate season was very good to Mitt. ABC reports that his campaign raised nearly $112 Million the first half of October.

CINCINNATI — Mitt Romney has raised $111.8 million in the first half of October, a campaign aide said today.

“BOOM: In first half of October alone, @mittromney effort raised $111.8 million,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in a tweet.

In an e-mail to donors, Romney’s National Finance Chair Spencer Zwick wrote, “We are proud to announce that the Romney Victory Effort raised $111 million from Oct. 1-17.”

“We are a successful finance team because of you, the members of the National Finance Committee,” Zwick wrote. “In these final days of the campaign, we know that you brought us to this point and that your support will carry us through to victory on November 6th.”   The impressive fundraising numbers come during the time period of three of the four debates.

Romney participated in presidential debates on October 3 and October 16, and his runningmate Paul Ryan faced off in the veep debate on October 11.

Saul announced following the first debate that the campaign had raised more than $12 million over 48 hours.

With that kind of cash, Romney will be able to finish strong in not only Ohio, but should be able to do some last minute campaigning in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other more risky states.

That kind of money goes a long way toward the GOTV efforts, as well.

 

by @ 10:26 am. Filed under Fundraising, Mitt Romney

October 20, 2012

DNC is Essentially Bankrupt

The official FEC fillings for last month are now in. Things do not look good for the Democratic Party. The Other McCain reports:

The official Federal Election Committee reports for September are out, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s DNC is a complete wreck. The Democrats ended September with cash on hand of $4.6 million, compared to the Republican National Committee’s $82.6 million.

That’s nearly an 18-to-1 cash advantage for Republicans.

Worse still for the DNC, they had to take out loans to pay the bills so that they owed $20.5 million at the end of September, meaning that that (subtracting cash on hand from total debt) they were $15.9 million in the red — essentially bankrupt. Wasserman-Schultz’s committee only raised $3.7 million in September; at that pace, it would take them more than four months to clear their debt, even if they didn’t spend another dime in the meantime.

Couple that with the news that Obama had to take out a $15 Million loan for Bank of America, and you get a picture of a Democratic campaign that is in serious financial trouble.

Obama For America took out a $15 million loan from Bank of America last month, according to the campaign’s October monthly FEC report. The loan was incurred on September 4 and is due November 14, eight days after the election. OFA received an interest rate of 2.5% plus the current Libor rate.

With the Obama Campaign’s reputation for being a deadbeat, why would any sane lender loan them that kind of cash?

 

by @ 10:06 am. Filed under Fundraising

October 19, 2012

Democrats Report Small Cash on Hand, Large Debt

Political junkies know by now that when the fundraising numbers for each campaign are released every month, things are more complicated than they might seem. The numbers each campaign releases are usually the combined totals of three different entities: the campaign, the party, and the joint “victory fund” between the two. Between those three organizations, for instance, Romney and the RNC raised $171 million in September and began October with an eye-popping $191 million cash on hand.

Obama and the DNC announced earlier in October that their three groups had raised a total of $181 million in September — but have actively refused to tell anyone how much cash they had left for the final month of the campaign.

Well, the filings that will reveal all are due to the FEC no later than tomorrow… and two of the three pieces of the Democratic puzzle have filed their reports today. First, the joint Victory Fund reported raising $82.3 million and ending September with just $45 million on hand.

Then, the DNC reported ending September with only $4.6 million cash on hand — and carrying $20.4 million in debt. (For comparison sake, the RNC ended September with $86 million cash on hand.)

Adding those two pieces together, we get $49.6 million cash on hand… and $20.4 million in debt.

Obama’s campaign better have a ridiculous amount of cash on hand if he hopes to compete with Romney in these final weeks. Either way, their total is not going to come anywhere close to the Romney/RNC total of $191 million. We will know for sure tomorrow…

by @ 3:21 pm. Filed under Democrats, Fundraising, Republican Party

October 16, 2012

Romney Releases Sept Fundraising Totals: $171M raised, $191M in the Bank

The Romney campaign released their fundraising numbers today, the same day as the second presidential debate this evening — and the numbers were rather impressive: $171 million raised in September, and $191 million cash on hand at the end of the month.

Remember, Obama’s campaign was trumpeting their total raised, which was $181 million. Romney didn’t beat him, but came awfully close — and a lot closer than most pundits expected, given how poorly of a month September was for Romney.

The huge deal with these numbers, however, is the cash on hand total. $191 million in the bank is an eye-popping, massive pile of coin to be sitting on for the final 38 days of a campaign. And Romney is using it to his benefit: last week was the first week of the entire campaign Romney outspent Obama in television advertising. By the looks of the bank account, that is a trend which will continue through election day.

In other words, Romney kept his powder dry, held his fire, until the opportune moment.

Meanwhile, over in Obamaland, the campaign is refusing to release their cash on hand total. That refusal makes one wonder… did Obama spend all of his vaunted $181 million he raised in September, only to see his lead squandered and erased in early October? Until we learn otherwise, it certainly would seem like it. At the very least, we know Obama’s cash on hand is not close to Romney’s. Otherwise, Team Obama would release the number to try and blunt Romney’s momentum.

The other big thing to take away from these numbers is that according to Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign is raising money even faster so far in October than they did in September. This is pretty astounding, given the historical trend that October is the worst fundraising month for candidates (because they’re busy actually campaigning rather than fundraising) — but it makes a lot of sense given how energized Republicans have become after Romney’s first debate performance.

So Romney will likely have close to $300 million to spend in the month of October to close out this deal. The charts for fundraising and cash on hand are below:

UPDATE: Remember, these totals are actually from three different fundraising organizations on each side: the candidate, the party, and the joint victory fund between the two. So Romney’s numbers, for instance, include the Romney campaign, the RNC, and Romney Victory, Inc.

September 17, 2012

Mitt Romney: Help Elect Republicans to Congress

I received the following email over the weekend:

Barack Obama’s economic policies have hurt the country and pushed us backward. But he hasn’t acted alone — he’s had plenty of help from his liberal allies.

To clean up the mess that the President, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have made, we need to control the House of Representatives. The House is where Paul Ryan comes from, and it’s where Republicans will start putting the economy back on track.

But before we can undo the damage, we will need your help to win in November. Please donate $10 or more right now.

Remember: If Democrats control Congress, we won’t be able to cut spending, the EPA will continue to run wild, and the backroom Solyndra deals that Democrats love will continue.

We need to win a majority in both houses of Congress. And we need you to stand with us: Please give $10 or more today.

Thanks,

Mitt Romney

by @ 11:06 am. Filed under Fundraising, House Races, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, Senate Races

September 5, 2012

Now They Are Asking For Your Pizza Money

Michelle Obama is sending out the following fundraising email:

I know your life is full — with work, or school, or family — and yet you still find the time to help out when you can.

You may have a tight budget, but you give what you can afford.

A woman recently told the campaign her family skipped a pizza dinner at their favorite place so that they could make a difference in this election.

That is the commitment that drives this campaign.

If you can support Barack with a donation today, please know it makes a huge difference. If we win, it will be because of what you did at moments like this….

Thanks,

Michelle

P.S. — It meant a lot to me to speak with you and everyone else last night. Thank you for everything you do.

So not only did they famously invite us to send all of our birthday and wedding gift money to Obama, now Michelle Obama herself is hinting that it would be a wonderful thing if you gave up your family’s pizza night and send the cash to her husband’s campaign.

Really, you cannot make this stuff up. Nobody would believe you if you did.

Still, this is the same group that gave us ‘Julia’ and the ‘Obama Gift Registry’. We shouldn’t put anything past them.

I am going to be charitable and assume that some anonymous staffer wrote this email and signed it for Michelle without her ever seeing it. The First Lady has never struck me as being that foolish.

Have you noticed that you see far fewer articles extolling the genius of the Obama Campaign team these days? They used to be fairly common, but they seem to have disappeared as of late. I wonder why.

by @ 3:47 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising

August 27, 2012

Romney Helps Others. Obama Helps Self.

Politico reports:

Unlike President Barack Obama, who’s drawn complaints for being stingy with his campaign cash, Mitt Romney is spreading the wealth among his GOP congressional allies.

Romney’s biggest grossing committee last month steered at least $3 million to boost GOP congressional candidates who will share the ballot with him, according to finance reports filed last week.

Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee set up by Romney’s campaign and the Republican National Committee, on the last day of July transferred $1.5 million each to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Obama’s campaign had transferred money to the Democratic committees in 2008 and 2010, but has yet to do so this year, despite pleas from top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). They and other lawmakers have implored Obama’s campaign both to transfer at least $10 million to the Party’s congressional campaign arms and also not to max out wealthy donors.

The reluctance of Obama to heed such requests – and Romney’s willingness to make such transfers – is another in a series of troubling signs on the money front for Democrats. They have struggled to rally their big donors to write big checks to the types of unlimited-money outside groups airing millions in ads boosting Romney and congressional Republicans.

Earlier this year, Romney Victory transferred $53 million to the RNC, $16 million to Romney’s campaign committee and $20,000 each to the state Republican parties in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont – not exactly top battlegrounds.

It also speaks to the confidence level in each of the campaigns.

 

by @ 9:20 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising, House Races, Mitt Romney, Senate Races

August 22, 2012

Romney Raising Funds in Traditional Liberal Strongholds

Mitt Romney’s fundraising haul includes areas normally associated with the Liberal Democrats. CBSNews reports:

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is out-fundraising President Barack Obama by impressive margins, is attracting thousands of donors this summer from traditionally Democratic areas of the United States, collecting millions of dollars in even progressive communities from New York to Los Angeles, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of new campaign data.

Donors from tony neighborhoods of Manhattan to even the famously liberal Castro neighborhood in San Francisco helped Romney and the GOP outraise Obama by more than $25 million in July, beating him and the Democratic Party in contributions for a third consecutive month, the AP analysis showed.

In Denver, the home of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Romney supporters this summer contributed more than $400,000 — enough to pay rent, utilities and staff for a campaign field office. And in Philadelphia, where Obama handily beat Sen. John McCain four years ago, Romney took in more than $250,000 since early June.

The convention is almost here, and with it comes the end of the stricture against using general election funds. All that cash instantly becomes available to spend on the election.

 

by @ 1:14 pm. Filed under Fundraising, Mitt Romney

August 21, 2012

And the (Dead) Beat Goes On and On and On…

We’ve heard this story before, haven’t we?

WESTPORT, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Westport’s first selectman says the town has been informed it will not be reimbursed thousands of dollars for President Barack Obama’s visit for a fundraiser earlier this month.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff says the Democratic National Committee notified the town it will not pay police and fire overtime costs totaling $14,812.

These stories just keep coming. This classic song from the 60’s comes to mind:

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

by @ 1:24 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising

Romney Increases Cash on Hand Advantage Over Obama in July

A couple weeks ago, we learned that Governor Romney had vastly outraised President Obama for the third straight month. In July, Romney raised $101.3 million, marking his second straight month above the $100 million mark. Meanwhile, Obama pulled in just $75 million.

Romney also released the combined RNC/Victory Fund/Romney campaign cash on hand total early: $185.9 million. It was an impressive pile of cash sitting in the bank, waiting to be unleashed. Obama, however, was silent regarding his cash on hand — and now we know why. According to the FEC reports filed today, Obama (along with the DNC and their joint victory fund) have just $123.7 million cash on hand.

That means for the second straight month, Team Obama has spent more than they raised. Obama’s cash on hand declined from $144 million at the end of June to $123 million at the end of July. That also means something equally as astounding: the Obama campaign spent just south of $100 million in July alone.

The following two graphs display the trajectory of this race quite well:

by @ 8:00 am. Filed under Fundraising

August 17, 2012

Romney Press Release

On the state of the campaign since the Ryan announcement:

Mitt Romney Press | August 17, 2012
Location
Boston, MA
United States

MEMORANDUM

To: Interested Parties
From: Matt Rhoades, Campaign Manager
Re: America’s Comeback Team
Date: 8/17/2012

Tomorrow marks a week since Mitt Romney announced his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan to join him on America’s Comeback Team, and it’s clear that his choice has reshaped the race in a positive way. The Obama team’s increasing vitriol is a sure sign that they’re rattled by the pick. Unable to engage in an elevated policy debate, they’ve spent the past few days drowning in their own venom.

Since the announcement in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday:

Online Fundraising

Donations: 124,800+
Amount: $10,157,947
Average Donation: $81
% New Donors: 68%
Site Traffic

Total: 2,000,000
Desktop: 1,560,000
Mobile: 440,000
Mitt Romney Social

Facebook: +510,000 — Now 4,360,000
Twitter: +54,000 — Now 861,000
Paul Ryan Social

Facebook: +860,000
Twitter: +118,500
Volunteers

45,000+ sign up to volunteer online

President Obama is on defense over his $716 billion raid of current Medicare beneficiaries to pay for Obamacare, and allowing the hospital trust fund to go broke by the time those aged 50 or below are Medicare eligible. The political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warned this week that the issue could cost Democrats the election.

At the same, time, the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class is gaining traction. Voters in the swing states believe that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a better plan than Barack Obama and Joe Biden “to reduce the deficit, create jobs and get the economy moving.”[1]

Polling data shows Romney gaining since the announcement. Both Gallup and Rasmussen show us leading Obama in national polling, and recent statewide polling shows us picking up ground in Ohio and Virginia.

While President Obama’s team continues its campaign of frustration and division to distract voters from his failed record, the Romney-Ryan team will continue offering solutions to the challenges facing our nation. America is ready for a comeback and if this past week is any indication, America’s comeback will begin on November 6th.

[1] Data from “Purple Poll” conducted August 13-14, 2012.

by @ 8:05 am. Filed under Fundraising, Romney/Ryan

August 16, 2012

RUMOR: Fmr VA Gov Wilder (D) at Romney Fundraiser

PJ Tattler is reporting that former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder (D) appeared at a Romney fundraiser in Virginia today. Douglas Wilder was the first black politician elected Governor in the United States. Here’s more from PJ Tattler:

At a fundraiser at the Richmond, VA Marriott tonight for the Romney campaign, there was a surprise guest. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell introduced Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who in turn introduced Rep. Paul Ryan. But before McDonnell took the mic, another figure was acknowledging dignitaries in the crowd. Among those dignitaries addressed from the stage, was former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, according to a Tatler source who was there.

Wilder, a Democrat, is the first black politician elected governor in the United States. He served as governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. Wilder has been sharply critical of Vice President Joe Biden’s controversial “chains” comment this week.

Gov. Wilder’s appearance at a fundraiser for the Republican presidential ticket is sure to set off shock waves among the Democrats, and lead to speculation that he could shake up the race with more criticism of the Democratic ticket.

This could be kind of a big deal and I have to ask, is this a sign of things to come of more “Romney Democrats?”

EDIT 8/16/12 10:05 ET – PJ Tattler has been getting conflicting reports, stating Wilder was at the hotel, but not necessarily intending to be at the Romney fundraiser. While there, however, he was reportedly acknowledged from the stage. The link has been updated, so check out the additional information.

And this is why I prefaced the title of the piece “RUMOR.”

by @ 7:51 pm. Filed under Fundraising, Mitt Romney

August 14, 2012

Lastest Democratic Worry: Crowd Sizes

The crowds coming out to see Romney and Ryan have been huge, with waiting lines stretching around the block. Meanwhile, Obama spoke to a half-empty (the left described it as “half-full”) room in Chicago, his home town. Vice President Biden spoke to a paltry crowd of 660 people in North Carolina, the same state where just the day before saw two huge R/R rallies, one had nearly 5000 people, the other far exceeded 10,000. Mitt and Ryan went on to speak separately to large capacity+ crowds in Florida, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

The disparity in the crowd size has not gone unnoticed. A new Democratic fund-raising email has gone out:

****-

I just got this disturbing report: Yesterday’s Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.

There’s no spinning that number. It’s a LOT of people, and the Republican base in energized.

And that’s not all. Since the VP announcement, Romney’s campaign has brought in over 70,000 donations from his Tea Party base.

We’ve got to step up our game and mobilize our supporters — starting right now.

Donate $3 or right now to help us rally our base around President Obama’s agenda.

The email is signed Brynne Craig, DCCC Field Director.

Spending money may succeed in mobilizing their supporters, but will it enthuse them? That remains to be seen.

by @ 6:56 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Fundraising, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan

August 6, 2012

Monthly Fundraising Totals Announced for July

Romney has announced that he and the RNC took in $101.3 million in July and has $185.9 million cash on hand. Obama has announced that he and the DNC took in over $75 million and makes no mention of cash on hand.

This makes the third month in a row where the Republicans have outstripped the Democrats in the Presidential fundraising race.  And considering the record paced burn-rate of the Obama campaign, perhaps those pathetic pleas for more money being sent out recently by Team Obama aren’t just attempts at scaring supporters into sending more money. They may actually be in a world of hurt.

by @ 9:57 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

August 1, 2012

NYTimes: Obama Campaign Sounding Desperate

The New York Times, of all places, is starting to notice that the pleas from the Obama Camp for more and more funds are starting to sound increasingly desperate:

… Each plea for money from President Obama and his allies has become more urgent and desperate than the last.

The dire hand-wringing is partly tactical for a campaign that is likely to have more than enough money to execute its strategy. By appearing desperate, Mr. Obama’s campaign hopes it can persuade more of its supporters to donate now, rather than later.

But in fact, Mr. Obama is facing a quandary his 2008 campaign team never even contemplated: a rival whose fund-raising operation appears better positioned to tap into both the deep pockets of wealthy donors and the economic frustrations of average Americans.

Regardless of the real impact on Mr. Obama’s campaign operations, there’s an image problem to worry about.

The appeals for donations occasionally recall the “Everything 80 percent off! Going out of Business” sales that try to entice customers into the store. And yet, Mr. Obama’s campaign team has clearly calculated that it is willing to risk leaving that kind of impression if it means raising more money.

Perception plays a major role in the outcome of an election. People don’t like to vote for a loser, and if the perception takes hold that the Obama campaign is on its last legs desperately clinging for life, it is going to be far harder for them to win this thing.

by @ 12:22 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Campaign Strategy, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 30, 2012

Romney Pays His Bills, Obama Doesn’t

From the LATimes:

Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff billed the campaigns of President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney for police security at their separate fundraisers this year in the city.

Now that the Romney campaign paid its bill, the city is left in the awkward position of trying to collect from Obama.

What’s the problem? It’s the age-old, “talk to the other guy”, runaround. The Obama Campaign says security costs are the Secret Service’s responsibility. The Secret Service says it’s the campaign’s or the DNC’s responsibility.

Kiff says the Police Department did raise the issue with the Secret Service before the president’s visit.

“At that time, our staff was told that the Secret Service would not reimburse the city,” Kiff wrote in an email, “and that we should check with the president’s campaign or the DNC.”

The Romney campaign paid its bill last week, about a month after the city sent its invoice. The Obama bill, on the other hand, was sent in May and has not been paid. … About three weeks ago, the Democratic National Committee contacted the city and told officials to deal with the Secret Service.

The DNC is a private entity. So is the President’s Campaign. They could pay anytime they wanted. They choose not to.

Do you remember last month where Obama ordered a big dinner and then walked out without paying? This seems to be an ongoing trend with this guy.

An embarrassed White House did pick the restaurant’s tab eventually. Let’s hope that Newport Beach can eventually get theirs paid off.

by @ 8:45 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 24, 2012

Washington State Democratic Leaders Avoid Obama

President Barack Obama was in Seattle today for a couple of fundraisers. His reception at the airport was a bit underwhelming.

Obama was greeted at Boeing Field by a dozen community and business leaders and local party volunteers, but no major state or Seattle politicians. He then approached a crowd of several dozen onlookers, shaking a few hands before speeding off for Hunts Point.

No sitting Democratic Governor, Christine Gregoire. No Democratic Candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee. No Democratic Lt. Governor, Brad Owen. No Democratic Mayor of Seattle, Michael McGinn. Not even the Democratic legislature leaders were present. The incumbent Democratic President of the United States comes to town and nobody of any stature in his own party is there at the airport to meet him.

How very odd. First about a dozen or so Democrats announce they won’t be attending the Democratic Convention. Then the unions announce that they will be holding their own convention elsewhere. Then Nancy Pelosi goes on record advising her fellow Congressional Democrats to stay home and campaign. Now every Washington State Democrat of any importance seems to have somewhere else they need to be instead of publicly greeting the president at the airport.

A pattern seems to be developing…

by @ 10:13 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Fundraising

One For The Books

As a relatively unknown first-term U.S. senator, Barack Obama entered the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest as a clear underdog challenger to frontrunner U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, the former first lady during her husband’s eight-year administration.

Mrs. Clinton had the nomination all-but-locked-up going into the Iowa caucus, and even though she lost there to Mr. Obama, the nomination was still likely to be hers if she competed seriously in all the primaries and caucuses. Overconfident, however, the Clinton campaign only contested the primaries, ignoring the smaller caucus states, giving the Obama campaign the opportunity to accumulate a sizable number of delegates before the later primaries in larger states. To their credit, the Obama campaign skillfully did just that, and grabbed the momentum that led them at the very end of the nomination contest to a narrow victory. The Obama campaign, taking cue from Howard Dean’s innovative use of the internet for fundraising in 2004, launched a grass-roots fundraising effort which culminated in their raising a record amount for a presidential race. They raised so much money that they declined the federal subsidy available to major party nominees, and at the end, dwarfed the campaign spending of their opponent Republican U.S. Senator John McCain who accepted federal funding.

Let us remember the political environment in September and October, 2008. The incumbent Republican President George W. Bush, after two terms filled with war and controversy, was very unpopular. The whole nation was war-weary, and although Mr Bush had lowered taxes at the beginning of his first term, he had also presided over a large increase in federal spending, some if it of course for the war. Mr. McCain was a genuine war hero, but not a particularly strong presidential candidate. Concerned with voter sentiment about his age, and the unpopularity of the incumbent GOP president, he chose the unknown Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Most of the establishment print and broadcast media had become increasingly hostile to the Republicans during the administration of George W. Bush, and by 2008, were showing unambiguous bias against the GOP ticket, with particular savagery to Mrs. Palin. Mr. Obama, who had his first national exposure as keynoter to the 2004 Democratic convention, and had only a few terms as a state legislator and partial term as U.S. senator in his resume, was not vetted by the media which ignored the fact that most of the records of Mr. Obama’s political past had “disappeared.

“In spite of all this, and particularly in spite of Mr. McCain’s reluctance to make his campaign a strong rebuttal of Mr. Obama’s lack of experience, the GOP ticket was ahead in the polls a few days before the historic crisis in the mortgage banking sector appeared. This crisis was, of course, the last straw for many independent and undecided voters, and Mr. Obama sailed to a decisive victory in November. As happens with all presidential winners, the president-elect and his campaign insiders were hailed as “brilliant” strategists.

Now let us go forward to the present day.  After the initial traditional holiday with voters, President Obama’s popularity soon declined below 50% where it has remained for some time. With control of both houses of Congress, and the ability to enact virtually any legislative program he wished, Mr. Obama and his congressional allies decided to enact radical healthcare reform, bludgeoning any opposition along their way. The result was, and is, the most unpopular major legislation in recent history, and this was clearly demonstrated only two years after he took office in the off-year national elections when Republicans took back control of the U.S. house and made large gains in the U.S. senate. Since 2010, the government has been essentially in stalemate.

Since Mitt Romney secured his party’s presidential nomination in early May, Mr. Obama and his campaign team have made, and continue to make, several egregious political mistakes. Team Obama had bragged they would raise a billion dollars for their re-election effort, but they are not only falling far short of this goal, Mr. Romney, for the time being, is outraising them.

Instead of instinctively heading for the political center, and for independent voters, where virtually all presidential elections are decided (indeed, it was in this area that candidate Obama had succeeded so well in 2008), Mr. Obama has veered sharply to the left, presumably to shore up his political base. But that base, however unhappy they might be, was not going to vote for anyone but Mr. Obama in November. Mr. Obama and his campaign also has attacked Mr. Romney for his business background, but this so far has failed to change many voters’ minds. In fact, the emphasis on Mr. Romney’s successful career in the private sector may be unintentionally helping the GOP challenger with independent voters who are unhappy with the Obama economic record of his first term. Latest national polls indicate that a large majority of voters this year have more confidence in Mr Romney than Mr. Obama in dealing with the economy.

It would appear that the “political brilliance” of the 2008 Obama campaign may have been an illusion. Mr. Axelrod, the president’s top political adviser, sounds increasingly like a nasty political hack, and less like a master strategist. Mr. Obama goes from one major verbal and political gaffe to the next. Democratic candidates for the U.S. house and senate are increasingly putting distance between themselves and the presidential re-election effort.

I say all of this, and it’s not a “pretty picture” if you’re a Democrat, while I acknowledge how difficult it is for an incumbent president to lose  re-election. True, Jimmy Carter did it, and so did George H.W. Bush, but the political and electoral advantages of an incumbent president are enormous. Considering the resources Mr. Obama has had throughout most of his presidency, he should be sailing easily to re-election. He might still do it, but the omens are not good. Most significantly, he does not appear to be using his best resources. Mr. Romney has yet to show his best (or worst) cards in the campaign, but perhaps the final result will be, as it probably was for Mr. Obama in 2008, beyond his personal control.

However it turns out, the election of 2012 should be one for the books.

_________________________________________________________________

-Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman.  All rights reserved. Please visit Mr. Cassleman’s personal site

by @ 8:30 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Barack Obama, Campaign Strategy, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 23, 2012

Romney Ended June With More Cash on Hand Than Obama

Way more… to the tune of $26 million…

Total Raised
In June the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the Obama Victory Fund (the joint Obama-DNC fundraising arm) raised a total of $71 million. This was their largest total to date; however, it paled in comparison to Governor Romney’s fundraising prowess. Romney, together with the RNC and Romney Victory, Inc raised an incredible $106 million in June, easily eclipsing President Obama’s efforts.

Cash on Hand
The real story, though, is even worse for the Obama campaign. At the end of March, Team Obama had a $94 million advantage over Team Romney in the cash on hand category. The joint Romney Victory fund began in April, and the Republicans have never looked back. What was once considered a major strength of President Obama has now become one of his weaknesses: if current trends continue Governor Romney will easily outpace him in the fundraising realm.

At the end of June, Team Obama had $144 million in the bank. Team Romney, however, banked a massive $170 million. For the first time in this campaign, Romney has more money to play with than Obama.

This comes as the Obama campaign spent more than it took in during June. Most of those high dollar expenditures were part of a $40 million TV ad blitz that barely managed to move the needle. Meanwhile, Romney sat back and built up his war chest, spending only $10 million on TV ads.

Just to give you an idea of the direction this campaign is trending, here are two graphs for your viewing enjoyment. First, the amount raised by each campaign by month, starting with April when the playing field was leveled with the inception of the Romney Victory fund:

And to close out, the money shot (pun intended):

by @ 9:00 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 16, 2012

Shocking News: Obama Wedding Registry a Flop

The New York Post reports:

President Obama’s bizarre marriage-theme fund-raising scheme — where he asks couples to request campaign donations from their guests in lieu of wedding gifts — has been a total flop.

The desperate initiative, dubbed “the Event Registry,” is being mocked by event planners and couples — and shows how desperate the Obama campaign is to keep up with GOP contender Mitt Romney’s fund-raising.

Campaign officials launched the initiative in late June. … So far, “the Event Registry” has been all but ignored on social-media sites — even though Facebook, Twitter and other networks have been a strong suit for the Obama campaign.

And why did it flop?

[W]edding industry pros called the ploy tasteless and divisive.

“This is absurd. Republican or Democrat, you shouldn’t bring politics into a wedding,” said Kristin Koch, a senior editor with weddingchannel.com. “We found that nearly everyone found this to be a bad idea.”

Brides-to-be commenting on her site’s message board called the initiative “gross!” and “tacky” — with one writing, “Hell no!”

“Politics and my personal celebrations should not be mixed,” another bride wrote.

by @ 10:38 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising

July 12, 2012

Romney Fine With the Boos

Mitt Romney was in Montana tonight for a fundraiser after his big appearance at the NAACP convention earlier in Houston. The AP reports that he commented:

“When I mentioned I was going to get rid of Obamacare, they didn’t like that. That is fine, I want people to know what I stand for. If they don’t want to cut Obamacare then they have to give me something else to cut.”

Cool, calm, unflappable. That’s Mitt Romney. It makes him appear quite presidential.

If the situation was reversed, do you think Obama would be such a cool cucumber about getting booed? Dealing with criticism isn’t exactly Barack’s forte, you know.

Mitt’s speech earned him a standing ovation from a hostile crowd, even after a one or two boos. He showed the NAACP respect, and they returned the favor.

I would not want to be Joe Biden who has to follow up Mitt’s speech tomorrow. Mitt treated the convention like adults and they responded to it. It will be interesting to see how Joe will treat them, and how they will respond to him.

by @ 12:08 am. Filed under Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 11, 2012

Obama & His Donors

On Thursday, the Romney campaign announced that it had raised over $100 million in June, between the campaign, the Romney PAC, and the Republican National Committee. On Monday came news that the President, for the second month in a row, has been outraised by Romney quite handily – and Romney’s campaign had over 500,000 donors to boot.

This all comes less than two weeks after President Obama was busted making a call to donors from Air Force One. The President, who “uses a non-taxpayer-funded phone for political calls from the plane,” made the claim that Romney, the GOP, and GOP-allied organizations could easily outspend his campaign. He also compared his campaign to the failed union recall of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, saying “We just can’t be outspent 10 to 1…That’s what happened in Wisconsin recently. The Koch brothers and their allies spent more than the other side’s entire campaign, our side’s entire campaign.”

Ignoring the inaccuracy regarding the alleged disparity between union allies in Wisconsin and Walker’s allies – spelled out by Heritage’s James Sherk here – the President’s concern about being outspent and its impact on the election is rather laughable, even in light of Romney’s fundraising:

  1. First, he has substantially more money on hand than Romney, and has strong union backing.
  2. Second, he has spent more money than Romney, though to be fair he was outraised in May and June, and the Supreme Court’s decision on the PPACA raised millions for Romney at the end of June.
  3. Third, he is probably simply pulling a Boehner, making things sound worse than they are in order to spark aggressive thinking among his base of donors.
  4. Fourth, unions and other Democratic Party supporters hold most of the Top Twenty donor spots in an Open Secrets tracking of donations from 1988 through 2012. Clearly, the liberal base is not suffering when it comes to helping candidates.
  5. Fifth, as even this biased post-recall Washington Post article notes, most Wisconsin voters had made their minds up before the major ad push leading up to the recall, and many voted against the unions simply because they were angry with the process. After all, recalls are supposed to be because someone violated the public trust in an egregious fashion – not because a policy someone disagrees with becomes law.
  6. Sixth, the President has made more than 50% more campaign stops than Bush did in his entire re-election campaign, and approximately 73% as many as both Presidents Bush and President Clinton combined held in their re-election campaigns. And the general election campaign season has only just kicked off. With so many trips to come, does he really think he’s going to be outspent? I doubt it.
  7. Finally, via the LA Times last November, a reminder that the President broke his 2008 campaign vow to use public campaign dollars, and sort of set the stage for the 2012 campaign’s style of fundraising:

But Obama is also partially to blame for this new world order. Like he did in 2008, Obama will forgo the presidential matching funds program, and the limits that come with it.

In 2008, Obama became the first major-party candidate to pass on participating in the Watergate-era program for the general election. Doing so gave him a huge advantage over his GOP opponent, John McCain, who took the matching funds. Obama raised $745 million in 2008, compared with McCain’s $368 million.

So, yes, as we move forward towards November the left is going to keep claiming Obama is the poor man’s candidate. And I can’t blame them. After all, how can a small donor like George Soros or the CEO of Dreamworks, or a middle-class guy like top Obama campaign bundler Jon Corzine, compete with Karl Rove and the Koch brothers? Oh, wait…

 

by @ 1:39 pm. Filed under Fundraising

Biden: A Romney Presidency Would Mean Six Scalias on the Supreme Court

VP Joe Biden was in Utah last night for a lightly attended fundraiser. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

“These guys have a social policy out of the ’50s,” Biden said, warning that a Romney administration would appoint more justices to the Supreme Court in line with Justice Antonin Scalia and other conservatives.

“Close your eyes, I’m not being facetious, and imagine what a Supreme Court would look like after four years [of Romney],” he said. “Imagine what it will look like for women with six Scalias on the bench.”

Six Scalias. I wished. Imagine six Justices sitting on the bench as dedicated as Scalia to the Constitution of the United States as written, and not looking for ways to pervert it.

Biden asked the audience what they thought that would mean for social policy, and if they thought that Roe v. Wade, the landmark case legalizing abortion, would survive.

Ah yes, the old liberal bugaboo. Protect abortion at all costs. Otherwise it would send women back to the dark ages.

The vice president spoke for about 40 minutes to a crowd of about 300 people gathered under an open-air canopy outside the Park City home of John and Kristi Cumming before taking questions after the press was escorted out.

About two dozen protesters lined the route to the fundraiser, holding signs that read, “Four More Months” and “8.2% Unemployment, That’s a recovery?”

I like that “Four More Months” crack.

Admission to the fundraiser started at $100 for young professionals, premium seating for $1,000, photos for $5,000 per person or $8,000 per couple. Donors could give $25,000 or raise $50,000 for the Obama campaign to be co-hosts of the event.

Cheap seats began at $100, but they could only attract 300 people? But then again, it was Joe Biden… .

 

 

by @ 11:01 am. Filed under Fundraising

July 10, 2012

Democrats Are Starting To Panic

From the Weekly Standard:

Democrats are continuing to sound the alarm about this upcoming election. And the latest alarm bell is being rung by Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Using a reverse psychology ploy to gin up support from Democratic donors, Murray writes, in an email to supporters, that “If we don’t close this gap now, the White House and Senate will be out of reach before Labor Day.”

Really? “Out of reach before Labor Day”, you say?

One can only hope.

Earlier today, President Obama, also in an email to supporters, suggested that this election will test the democratic model.

“This election will be a test of the model that got us here,” Obama wrote. “We’ll learn whether it’s still true that a grassroots campaign can elect a president — whether ordinary Americans are in control of our democracy in the face of massive spending.”

Actually, I agree with the president. One must wonder “…whether ordinary Americans are in control of our democracy in the face of massive spending”. Massive borrowing to the tune of trillions of dollars doesn’t help, either.Yet, Mr. President, you don’t seem all that interested in curbing either. So who’s in better touch with “ordinary Americans”?

 

by @ 4:40 pm. Filed under Democrats, Fundraising

July 9, 2012

Questions About Romney’s Fundraising

With the news that President Obama was outraised by $35 million by the Romney campaign, the RNC, etc. both sides are naturally going to spin things. Obama’s team has already released the following statement, with class warfare rhetoric to follow, I’m sure:

Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Good news first: June was our best fundraising month yet. We exceeded expectations — more than 706,000 people like you stepped up and pitched in for a grand total of $71 million raised for this campaign and the Democratic Party.

Bravo. That’s seriously impressive.

Bad news? We still got beat. Handily. Romney and the RNC pulled in a whopping $106 million.

Of course, via Ed Morrissey, Politico pointed out that Romney’s team had an impressive number of donors, which the Romney team says shows the strong anti-Obama feeling in the country:

According to Politico’s Morning Blast, 94% of all June donations were $250 or less, accounting for $22.3 million of that total.  The total number of small donors in June was more than a half-million — 563,729.  Impressive.

Not being a campaign guy, and certainly not being a campaign donor expert in any way, Romney’s numbers leave me with a few questions that I hope readers and posters on this site can answer:

1. How does the campaign prevent Obama from negatively pointing out that six percent of donors contributed just shy of 80% of the donations?

2. Is #1 a bad thing, or is that normal within fundraising?

3. Does Obama’s campaign have similar splits between major and small donors?

4. Does #1 take away from the Romney campaign claiming they have grassroots support, since the donor base was large (though not as large as Obama’s) but most of the money came from a small number of donors?

Thanks in advance for the education.

by @ 1:27 pm. Filed under Fundraising, Mitt Romney

Romney Outraises Obama By $35 Million

Romney for President, the Republican National Committee, and the Romney Victory Fund announced their June total of $106.1 million, besting the Obama campaign and the DNC’s total of $71 million.

What’s worse for the Obama campaign is that $71 million total is lower than their $74 million haul in June of 2008. By contrast, Sen. John McCain’s team raised only $48 million in that same period.

On top of this bad news for President Obama is a new USA Today/Gallup poll released today showing the president with a statistically insignificant lead of 47% to Romney’s 45% in battleground states among registered voters. This shows almost no change from a poll of these same states in May. This signals that despite conservative fretting over the Democrats’ constant assault on Bain Capital, the attacks seemed to have had little to no effect in the most important swing states.

by @ 10:09 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Fundraising, Mitt Romney

July 5, 2012

Romney Raises $100Million+ in June

Politico is reporting that the Romney Campaign has set a new monthly record for Republican fundraising:

The Romney campaign, along with its Romney Victory fund, raised more than $100 million in June, obliterating the campaign’s goal and setting the one-month record for any Republican campaign, according to a GOP official.

Now-President Barack Obama raised $150 million as he was surging in September 2008, the record month for any campaign.

The Romney campaign says much of the June haul came from new donors, with states from coast to coast out-performing their targets.

This, of course, is not counting the Super-PACs.

I wonder how Obama did.

by @ 3:05 pm. Filed under Fundraising

July 2, 2012

ObamaCare Decision: The Gift That Keeps Giving

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ObamaCare has proven to be a windfall for Republican candidates. BuzzFeed reports:

ObamaCare Ruling Fills Republican Coffers

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ObamaCare Thursday offered an immediate financial boost to Republican candidates at all levels, GOP operatives and fundraisers told BuzzFeed.

While both the Romney and Obama campaign boasted that the decision had juiced their small contributions, the spillover to candidates for the Senate and House appears, by the early anecdotal evidence, to have been more pronounced for Republicans. Many Democrats, after all, continue to avoid talking about the unpopular legislation, while Republican candidates have now sharpened their mission: To repeal ObamaCare.

South Carolina-based Republican consultant Wesley Donehue said it was the best week of fundraising for his clients since Congressman Joe Wilson shouted “You Lie,” at President Barack Obama in 2009.

“We raised a crap ton of cash for clients at all levels of government, from State Senate to U.S. Senate,” he said.

Contributions to Republican candidates reached a “historic scale” in the hours after the decision, said Rob Saliterman, the account executive at Google who focuses on selling search ads to Republican campaigns.

Contrast that to Obama’s plaintive pleadings for more money.

President Obama sounded weary and maybe a tad worried late Friday during a rambling conference call with campaign donors whom he repeatedly begged to send money—and send it now.

The president’s 18-minute pleading—a recording of which was provided to The Daily Beast by an Obama contributor—hardly sounded like a man doing a victory lap after Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act has come to be known. Or, for that matter, like a candidate who has been beating his Republican opponent in recent polls of key battleground states.

Republicans excited. The Tea Party fired up. The Democrats morose. The President pathetically whining that it’s not his fault. A national election coming up.

Is it just me or does this sounds suspiciously like 2010 to you?

by @ 12:50 pm. Filed under 2010, Barack Obama, Campaign Issues, Fundraising, Mitt Romney, Republican Party

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