Friday, January 8, 2010

Fundraising Starts to Pick Up for 2010 Elections

Summary: Tracking the money at an important fundraising stage.

With this year’s midterm elections 11 months away, campaigns and party organizations are focusing on one thing: money.

We start in Florida where 8th District Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson raised a whopping $850,000 in the fourth quarter last year, bringing his cash-on-hand to over $1 million already. This was largely due to his striking anti-GOP rhetoric which convinced liberals across the country to donate to his campaign - almost $700,000 last quarter came from liberal activists through ActBlue.

Meanwhile, his liberalism has also helped his opponents raise money, and more and more prominent Republicans have jumped into the race believing Grayson is vulnerable.

On the national party side, the Republican National Committee has been trying to reassure donors that they’re doing well financially, despite burning through most of their budget last year. With over $22 million in the bank at the start of last year, the RNC ended 2009 with just $8.7 million cash-on-hand. And that was for just a small handful of races. Nonetheless, the RNC did report raising over $81 million over the course of the year.

From our perspective, it’s still incredible that they managed to burn through over $95 million in a year with only three or four targeted races.

On the other side of the spectrum, CQ Politics reports that despite it being in his party’s interests (and no doubt his own), President Obama has still not been lined up for any fundraising activities for House or Senate Democrats. Campaigns are beginning a critical six-month period for fundraising efforts, so it seems strange the President is not on board. In fact, he hasn’t even traveled outside of Washington in the country (except for a vacation in Hawaii) since early November.

When that will change is still uncertain.

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