Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 4, 2010

DNC'S SEPTEMBER FUNDRAISING RAISES EYEBROWS.... As a rule, the major parties' monthly fundraising totals are only interesting if they're surprisingly bad or surprisingly good. For the Democratic National Committee, today's filing belongs in the latter category.

Even as Democrats face a difficult October, there are signs that President Obama's 2008 supporters are beginning to wake up.

The Democratic National Committee will report today that September was the committee's best fundraising month of the election cycle, besting its previous high, in March, by a significant amount.

Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the DNC, said the organization plans to report raising more than $16 million last month; in March, the committee raised about $13.3 million.

Even better for the Democrats, most of that money came from the kind of contributors who fueled the Obama for President campaign in 2008: low-dollar donors who gave online or sent small checks in the mail.

The RNC has not yet indicated what its September haul was, so we have nothing to compare the DNC's $16 million month to, but Michael Steele's operation has struggled on this front last year, and the party waited until late on a Friday afternoon to publish its August totals. If the RNC's September numbers are far short of the DNC's filing, I suspect we'll see another effort to downplay the Republican tally.

That said, just how good was the DNC's month? Chris Cillizza described it as "startlingly strong," and "the best month of cash collection for the committee in a midterm election since the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law early last decade."

In terms of the larger narrative, a report like this suggests the listless Democratic rank and file are getting back in the game -- more than 80% of September's total came from smaller online and direct-mail contributions. Indeed, major progressive donors who were prepared to sit out the cycle may very well see these reports, see a hint of momentum, and feel more inclined to pick up their checkbook.

Just as importantly, there's an obvious practical benefit from having these millions on hand, ready to be invested in the midterms -- all of the money will immediately go to key states and districts for advertising, GOTV efforts, and field operations.

The next question, though, is whether the Dems' resources will be enough. Not only is the larger landscape still quite ugly for the majority, DNC funds may also be swamped by outside money.

Interest groups are spending five times as much on the 2010 congressional elections as they did on the last midterms, and they are more secretive than ever about where that money is coming from. [...]

The bulk of the money is being spent by conservatives, who have swamped their Democratic-aligned competition by 7 to 1 in recent weeks.

Steve Benen 8:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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Outside money goes towards advertisement NOT to GOTV efforts for outside money can't coordinate with the National Committees.

Thus the Democrats may not be enthusiastic but they have a far better ground game.

If the GOP candidates keep saying things like I want to get rid of minimum wage, face out social security, etc, that will go a long way for Democrats to come out and vote.

Posted by: Maritza on October 4, 2010 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

In essence the republican activists in the supreme court wanted it to be possible to buy the election.
Roberts was put there to do it! Is there anything that can be done to put the elections back into the hands of the people?

Posted by: js on October 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Maritza is right; 'mystery money' buys ads, it doesn't vote. Whereas small donor money means you have a dog in the hunt, and you WILL go to the polls. If anything identifies "Likely Voter" it is putting even a dollar in the coffee can at the meet up. (Whatever happened to "Meet Up", anyway?)

Posted by: DAY on October 4, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Can they send some money to Lee Fischer in Ohio? It's October, and he has yet to run an ad in the Cincinnati market.

On the other hand, Dreihaus is sticking Chabot with the Bushco albatross he so deserves while embracing his (Dreihaus') Obama votes as the right thing for the right time. More Democrats like him, please.

Posted by: jeff In Ohio on October 4, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

I did calling for Gerry Connolly's campaign this weekend. I called Dems and those who voted for Obama in the last election. Most people didn't answer the phone/weren't home, but of the few I got through to, most said they were definitely going to vote, and they were going to vote for Connolly. I had only one undecided and one who said "Take me off your list."

Posted by: pol on October 4, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

with AHIP and PhARMA and GoldmanSachs in charge of GOTV operations for the Democratic Party there is no way we lose the House.

Posted by: some guy on October 4, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Another vote for Maritza.

Democratic GOTV has become a smoother operation in the past six years, and it is well positioned to use late money. The GOP GOTV operation is centralized in the RNC, given Steele's management it looks to be in a shambles. The GOP's combination of outside money, weak party infrastructure, and an angry, alienated base, looks much more like the Democratic party circa 2002-2004.

We'll lose seats, but the party has the tools to prevent us from losing control of Congress.

I wonder how Republicans in Congress will react if they miss their chance? More obstruction, or will some come around to working for the country?

Posted by: tib on October 4, 2010 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Too early to tell, but maybe -- just maybe -- we're seeing the progressive sleeping giant from 2008 awake again. If so, it will be a wonderful thing.

Let's keep a majority in both the house and the senate -- and then eliminate the hold privilege AND the filibuster on the first day of the new senate session.

If we do so, in two years voters will see the tangible good that results from the gains made this session, and the wackos will probably never again be in power.

I want to force the Republican party to come to the table with facts and real-world proposals for the issues of the day. The only way to do that is to have simple majority rule in the senate.

If only...

Posted by: Churchyard on October 4, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

The first comment is the important one. As someone who volunteered on Kerry's 2004 campaign via DNC and outside groups, it was the chaotic and inefficient GOTV efforts that made a big difference in states like Ohio. Some people were called 20 times or more -- others were never approached at all, or if they were, it was very late in the cycle.

These one issue advertisements get turned off. In October, it's the GOTV that really matters.

Posted by: Barbara on October 4, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

EXXON's quarterly revenue, dwarfs anything the Democrats could possibly. From Reuters, "Revenue for the three months ended June 30 advanced to $98.49 billion from $74.46 billion in the year-ago period, which was in line with analysts' average forecast."

This is about ten times the annual GDP of Afghanistan.

Yes, they have expenses, but even taking 1% of revenue for that quarter could swamp the political system and Exxon is only one of SCORES of gigantic corporations.

And this year is just a warm-up to 2012.

IF OUR money based politics is going to be dominated by corporate interests and their reactionary politics. We need more socialists and other progressives for BALANCE.

Meanwhile, I have go to work, UNLIKE some members of the IDLE RICH CLASS, I read about.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on October 4, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK


The spend ratio on right vs left isn't the 7 to 1 reported in the Post's story.

Inside the story you find out that the $80 million number reported which drives the 7:1 includes 10 million spent on the Blanche Lincoln primary by the unions.

If you adjust for this one intraparty race by the left leaning group you get a 70 million spend of which 1.2 (or be generous and call it 2) million was spent by the "left leaners".

35 to 1 is a much more realistic number, but waaaay to polarizing to appear in the Post.

Posted by: grooft on October 4, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Forget about the RNC. For the purpose of comparing fundraising, the RGA is a better bet. Doesn't mean the RNC isn't taking in money. But the RGA is where the real action is.

Posted by: anjinsan on October 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say, as encouraging as these numbers are, I hope that these monies are not spent in support of milquetoast "moderate" Dems who spent most of their tenure watering down financial and healthcare reform, stimulus, BushTax extension.... (general GOTV et cetera aside). The fear of this keeps me from donating directly to the DNC, and limiting myself to specific candidates.

Posted by: jhm on October 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I LOVE MIRYO!!!! Shes’s so cool!

Posted by: moncler on November 23, 2010 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK



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