Democrats leading in fundraising; Republicans catching up

xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
This in interesting, to me anyway. As many of you know, the Dems like to say that Repubs are the party of money, etc, while the Dems are supposed to be the party that corporations hate, that somehow, Republicans are awash in money. Well, it turns out that for quite a few of the past elections, Democrats were the ones awash in money, and Republicans were the ones being heavily outspent. In fact, only in the 2010 elections are Repubs finally closing the gap on the Dems' massive warchests.

So much for the Democratic campaign line that the Republicans are the "party of money" - seems the opposite is true. Even with the new USSC ruling, corporations still give most of their political donations to Democrats; add on the fact that over 90% of Union donations are to Dems, and it starts to look like the Dems are the ones rolling in money, corporate and otherwise.


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From the WSJ:

An alliance of Republican groups is launching a $50 million advertising blitz this week in a final push to help the GOP win a majority in the House, representing the biggest spending blitz ever by such groups in a congressional election campaign.

A group backed by Karl Rove is working on the 'House surge strategy.' The coordinated effort, which the groups have dubbed the "House surge strategy," tops what the official Republican House election committee expects to spend on television ads for the entire contest. It is aimed at the few dozen competitive races where Democratic candidates have significantly more money in the bank than their Republican opponents, eating into one of the Democrats' last financial advantages.

Democratic candidates, notably incumbents, have raised more cash than many of their Republican rivals in this year's most competitive House races, according to a Wall Street Journal tally of Federal Election Commission data. In the 40 races deemed toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, a political handicapper, Democratic candidates had a combined $39.3 million of cash on hand as of June 30, the most-recent filing deadline. Republican candidates had $16.5 million in the bank.

Steven Law, who runs two of the Republican organizations, American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS, said the effort was "aimed at putting Republicans over the top by evening out the financial disparities and dramatically expanding the field of battle."

American Crossroads was set up with the help of former Republican White House advisers Karl Rove and Edward Gillespie.

The other two groups are the American Action Network, run by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity, a relative newcomer to the scene founded by Republican campaign consultant Scott Reed.

In the Denver suburbs, a $1.5 million ad purchase by the American Action Network will level the playing field for Republican Ryan Frazier, who is taking on two-term Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Mr. Frazier had only $252,000 on hand as of July 21, while Mr. Perlmutter had a war chest of $1.3 million,

"Conventional wisdom was that Democrats would have a sizable financial advantage in the 2010 elections—that will not be the case," said Rob Collins, president of the American Action Network.

The spending campaign underscores a phenomenon that emerged with force in the 2010 elections: Outside political groups, most of which don't have to disclose their donors, are rivaling the traditional dominance of political parties' official campaign committees. Many of these groups, including those launching the ad blitz, are less than a year old.

"The scales have tipped from the political party to the outside political organizations," said former Rep. Bill Paxon of New York, who once led the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's House campaign arm.

Evan Tracey, head of Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks campaign-ad spending, called the combination of ad outlays by the groups "historic" in its size, an assessment echoed by other campaign-finance experts and officials.

Mr. Tracey said outside Democratic groups were running ads in nine House campaigns while Republican groups are advertising in 70.

The record fund-raising and spending was made possible in part by a Supreme Court decision that allowed companies and unions to donate unlimited funds to such groups. The decision also allowed ads by such groups directly supporting or opposing candidates to run in the weeks before the election, which had previously been off-limits.

Spending by outside groups thus far has focused on Senate races. The new Republican effort marks the beginning of an effort to defeat House Democrats.

In southern New York, Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey has raised and spent more than his rival, Republican George Phillips. Mr. Hinchey had $267,106 left in his campaign account as of Aug. 25 and Mr. Phillips had $34,727, FEC records show.

American Crossroads plans to drop $300,000 in anti-Democratic ad buys on the race, giving Mr. Phillips more money to play with than his incumbent opponent, who is currently favored to win.

In South Bend, Ind., GOP groups are launching a coordinated effort on behalf of Republican state House leader Jackie Walorski, who has $700,000 less in the bank than her rival, two-term Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, who has $1 million.

The American Action Network will spend $240,000 on broadcast TV ads in South Bend, while American Crossroads and its affiliate will buy $150,000 of ads on Chicago-area cable, which shares its media market with northwest Indiana.

The spending is coordinated to avoid overlap. "It's fair to say that the targets are coordinated so that we are all not tripping over each other," said a Republican involved with the effort.

Meanwhile, Democrats have received $482 million, or 53%, of the $911 million donated to all congressional candidates and political parties from corporate political-action committees or individuals who work for companies, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Democrats have also collected 93% of the $49 million donated by labor unions.


Comments

  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    Any reliable stats to show that the "undisclosed" funding is still favoring Dem's?? NPR was discussing this today and the Dem speaker was saying its an 8-1 lead for Repubs from the "unknowns"....the republican speaker countered this, but still conceded it was a 3 or 4 to one advantage for rebpubs.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    No stats that I could dig up; seems that Democrats in previous election cycles always outspent Republicans, but this election cycle is something of an anomaly, with Republicans raising more than they ever have before. Still, despite this years record turnout, the Dems still have more money than the Repubs, as the graph above, and the article below, show.

    The article and graph above were from the WSJ, and this article is from tomorrow's WSJ


    WASHINGTON—A late effort by Democrats to match record fund raising by conservative organizations has come up short, leaving the party more reliant than usual on the campaign efforts of labor unions.

    A key pro-Democratic group, recently created by top party insiders to build a "firewall" around the Democrats' majority in the House, said Thursday it hoped to raise $10 million. That's a fraction of the $50 million that an alliance of GOP groups said Tuesday they would spend to help Republicans in dozens of House races.

    "We are David vs. Goliath," said Ramona Oliver, a spokeswoman for the new Democratic group, called America's Families First Action Fund. Founded this summer, it began raising money after Labor Day to help counter Republican fundraising efforts. It once hoped to help protect up to 30 Democratic House seats, but is now focusing on just 18 campaigns, Ms. Oliver said.

    In total, outside conservative groups—such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network and American Crossroads—could spend more than $300 million on TV advertisements, campaign mailings and other efforts to elect Republicans to Congress this year. Outside Democratic groups, by contrast, plan to spend about $100 million on those activities. The largest labor unions say they will spend $200 million combined, but most of their focus will be on rallying union voters.

    The spending by outside GOP groups is key because in the last three election cycles Democratic outside groups have substantially outspent their GOP rivals.

    Overall, the Democratic party and its candidates still have more money at their disposal than their GOP rivals. In the closest 40 House and 12 Senate races, the Democratic candidate, on average, has twice as much money in the bank as the GOP opponent, according to the most recent fund-raising data. That's in part because many are incumbents who can more easily raise big money in advance of the election.

    But among outside campaign organizations, Democrats are being outgunned, helping erase the Democrats' overall financial advantage. This lets Republicans inject money into races where Democrats had a big cash advantage, leaving Democratic candidates more reliant on the get-out-the-vote activities of the largest labor unions.

    Evan Tracey, who runs a group that tracks political ad spending, said outside Republican groups were running ads in 70 House races while Democratic groups are running ads in nine House campaigns.

    "Fewer targets, less money," said Craig Varoga, who runs a pro-Democratic campaign group called Patriot Majority. Mr. Varoga said his group would spend between $7 million and $8 million to help Democrats in a "half-dozen or so" congressional races. In the 2008 election, the group spent $14 million in 22 campaigns, Mr. Varoga said.

    People who run outside Democratic groups said they were raising less money than in prior elections because donors were upset Democrats didn't accomplish more with President Barack Obama in the White House and strong Congressional majorities.

    Some of the Democrats' biggest donors are sitting on the sidelines, including George Soros, the billionaire investor, who has donated millions of dollars to campaigns in the past decade.


    Jim Jordan, a Democratic political consultant, plans to spend "several million dollars" on advertisements to help Democratic candidates through a group called Commonsense Ten. He said some donors were increasingly alert to the funding disparity. "There are signs of a thaw, but it's late," Mr. Jordan said.

    Spending by the largest labor unions on the 2010 elections is expected to amount to about 10% of the total spent to elect Democrats by political parties, outside political entities and the candidates themselves. A precise number is hard to calculate because not all spending is made public. There is also a time lag in the spending disclosures.

    In interviews, major unions said they planned on spending as much as or more than they did on the midterm congressional races in 2006. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said they hoped to create a "firewall" in some of the closest House races to protect the Democrats' majority.

    In a meeting with reporters this week, Mr. Trumka said 37 of the 75 House seats in play were what he called "high union density" districts, from the suburbs of Chicago to the working-class regions of Pennsylvania.

    "We feel an incredible responsibility," said Karen White, political director for the National Education Association, a teachers' union. She said her union planned to spend $40 million on the 2010 elections, an increase from 2006, and last week it announced a $15 million ad campaign in close House races.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will send resources even to help elect Democratic candidates who haven't always backed its causes. "There are some candidates who are going to get some resources from us who in a normal year would not," said Larry Scanlon, the union's political director.

    Under current likely election scenarios, GOP candidates would need to win 59% of those Democratic seats up for grabs to gain control of the House.

    The Service Employees International Union said it would spend $44 million on the 2010 elections, up from $35 million in the 2006 midterm elections. In Virginia, the SEIU launched an ad this week attacking the Republican trying to unseat freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello. In California, the SEIU is spending $5 million this fall to help elect Jerry Brown as governor.

    The AFL-CIO said it was on pace to deploy 200,000 volunteers to campaign on behalf of candidates this election, its most ever in a midterm election. The union said it has distributed 17.5 million flyers on visits to worksites advocating the election of mostly Democratic candidates.

    The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said the Democratic Party and candidates had raised a total of $1.25 billion so far for the election. The comparable GOP figure is $1.1 billion.


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