Republicans Beating Democrats at Money Game
Eric Kleefeld reports that, while Democratic candidates are beating their Republican counterparts by embarrassing margins at fund raising, the reverse is true at the national level.
The Republican National Committee has announced that they have $31 million cash-on-hand at the end of March, money that can be used to assist John McCain as well as down-ballot races this Fall.
Quarterly figures aren’t available yet for the DNC, but it’s likely they’ll be way behind — at the end of February, they only had $4.8 million on hand, with $250,000 in outstanding debts.
This is essentially a tradeoff that comes with Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy — if the DNC’s primary mission is to act as a financial and organizational clearinghouse for state parties and candidates, it ends up not raising very much money for itself. We’ll find out in the months to come whether the Republicans can successfully exploit this weakness.
Indeed. My strong guess is that a lack of money won’t be an issue in any significant race this year. Whatever advantage Obama has over McCain, say, will be offset by party money and independent expenditures. Similarly, there will be plenty of money to go around for competitive gubernatorial, Senate, and House races.
The optics, however, might be quite different. With so many Republican incumbents retiring and the difficulty of finding serious Republicans to challenge in a lot of contests, there may be a lot of non-competitive races. But any candidate, of either party, given a serious chance of winning will be able to run all the ads they need.