Dems Losing the Money Race

I really don’t know what to make of this, but I will start with “I don’t think it is that big of a deal”:

The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean is losing the fundraising race against Republicans by nearly 2 to 1, a slow start that is stirring concern among strategists who worry that a cash shortage could hinder the party’s competitiveness in next year’s midterm elections.

The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate took the chairmanship of the national party eight months ago, riding the enthusiasm of grass-roots activists who relished his firebrand rhetorical style. But he faced widespread misgivings from establishment Democrats, including elected officials and Washington operatives, who questioned whether Dean was the right fit in a job that traditionally has centered on fundraising and the courting of major donors.

Now, the latest financial numbers are prompting new doubts. From January through September, the Republican National Committee raised $81.5 million, with $34 million remaining in the bank. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, showed $42 million raised and $6.8 million in the bank.

“The degree to which the fundraising has not been competitive is obviously troublesome,” said former congressman Vic Fazio (D-Calif.), who is now a lobbyist here. He expressed confidence in Tom McMahon, Dean’s executive director at the DNC.

I don’t think money is goping to be as important in the ’06 elections if things stay the way they are now. The Democrats have a motivated and hungry base, while the Republican party is demoralized, angry, weary, arrogant and fractured.

Don’t get me wrong- money is always good, but I just think it will be less relevant this year. Would a 2 to 1 ratio in favor of Democrats have helped them in 1994? I don’t think so.






32 replies
  1. 1
    Otto Man says:

    I seem to recall reading that other Democratic fundraising committees — the DSCC and the DCCC — were far exceeding their Republican counterparts. (Sorry, no idea where I read that.) Maybe this is just a move by Dean to decentralize the money.

  2. 2
    KC says:

    I’d like to see them with a bit more cash, frankly. However, I think your point stands John. If things continue to slide for the Republicans, people may go independent or Democrat by default. My bet as of this point is that Dems hold their seats in the Senate and pick up a dozen or more seats in house. I’d like to see them at least take one chamber, but I’m still not convinced that will happen.

  3. 3
    Kimmitt says:

    Speaking as a member of a state central committee, I’m not incredibly worried. The money is being much, much better spent.

  4. 4
    Silky says:

    I think it matters. The Republicans are going to get especially nasty next year, and the Democrats will need tons of money to defend themselves from accusations that they dine every night on fetuses, slaughtered American soldiers in Iraq or Vietnam, and had gay sex with Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton. Or maybe a threesome with both.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    What a disgusting image.

  6. 6
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    I don’t get it, John. I’d be Hillary’s intern any day.

  7. 7
    KC says:

    Kimmitt, just curious, what do you mean by the money being better spent? Or, in case you’re reluctant to say, what was it spent on before?

  8. 8
    Kimmitt says:

    Kimmitt, just curious, what do you mean by the money being better spent?

    State Party committees tend to be really good at squeezing value out of dollars, because they have a high volunteer/dollar ratio. At least hereabouts, we had the skeleton of an effective advocacy and GOTV group, but lacked the resources to activate it. For much, much less than the average ad buy, we have been turning the Party into a very effective grassroots organization.

    Secondly, I can tell you for free: Republicans know how to spend money. I have never seen so much brand new office furniture as I see in the average Republican campaign headquarters, which always has lovely new flatscreen televisions and gorgeous phone banks in the back, filled with hired telemarketers. We use donated furniture (or snag good stuff from office sales), our TVs are a little older but they work fine, and our phone banks are a bit grungy, but they’re staffed by people who don’t need to get paid to show up on a Tuesday night and talk about the things that matter. If Republicans can only muster a 2:1 ratio, they’re in trouble.

    Silky has a good point about the ad buys; I really don’t know where the money for ads tends to come from.

  9. 9
    Kimmitt says:

    Sorry, I left out — Dean’s great innovation has been a decentralization of money from the DNC to the State committees.

  10. 10
    Brad R. says:

    Maybe this is just a move by Dean to decentralize the money.

    I don’t know enough this issue to comment intelligently, but I will say it reminds of that part in Spinal Tap where Ian Faith says, “I don’t think the group is becoming less popular, it’s just that their appeal has become more selective.” :-)

  11. 11
    Mike S says:

    Isn’t it true that the party in power always has a big mone advantage. The Pres or VP can raise millions in one night and both have numerous times. My guess is that the advantage went the other way with Clinton.

  12. 12
    Otto Man says:

    I don’t know enough this issue to comment intelligently, but I will say it reminds of that part in Spinal Tap where Ian Faith says, “I don’t think the group is becoming less popular, it’s just that their appeal has become more selective.” :-)

    Boston isn’t really a college town.

  13. 13
    TallDave says:

    I think it’s a question of what Dem priorities are. Because whatever Dean lacks in fundraising, he more than makes up for in raw, burning ideological hatred. And I think we know which is more important to the base right now.

    McAuliffe was a Clintonite, and he understood cash, centrism and compromise, especially how to soothe the business donor class into massive monetary donations. Heck, he managed to make $100 million himself on Global Crossing before they went bankrupt. But Dems don’t want that, they want someone who says “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for” and has the “YEAAAAAARGH!” to prove he means it.

  14. 14
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    From January through September…

    Well, there you have it. Now that the Dems have some solid victories under their collective belts, it seems obvious they’ll receive more money. Nothing succeeds like success.
    OTOH, the Repubs have problems, because who wants to throw cash at a bunch of losers?

  15. 15
    Kimmitt says:

    True — I hate the way that our current Administration degrades America through, for example, our torture policies, and I want someone who will stand up against that sort of thing. People who don’t think that sodomizing children may not be the best of ideas in the longer term may not understand this feeling.

  16. 16
    Jack Roy says:

    Yeah, ditto what’s been said—as a rule of thumb, the RNC (and the Republican nominee) almost always raise twice as much money as the DNC (and the Democratic nominee), and usually very close to twice. Goldwater raised and spent twice as much as Johnson, e.g.; it’s not indicative of politics so much as rich people tend to be Republicans.

    Also ditto the sentiment that, since the midterms are next, the DCCC, DSCC, and DLCC versus RNCC, RSCC, and RLCC measurement is likely the more relevant comparison. And I have no idea what those are.

  17. 17
    Boo says:

    In the previous election cycle, the DNC had raised $31 million, compared with the RNC’s $80 million, at this point in 2003.

    So Dean has raised $11 million more than his predecessor, the fundraising “genius” Terry McAuliffe, in the 2003 cycle and the RNC is up $1.5M! Sound the alarms.

  18. 18
    Steve S says:

    McAuliffe was a Clintonite, and he understood cash, centrism and compromise, especially how to soothe the business donor class into massive monetary donations.

    Whine whine whine whine. If you liked the McAuliffe DNC, you should have voted for Gore.

    Dean’s the best chair the party has had in several decades. You don’t like him because he’s being effective, that’s all.

  19. 19
    Stormy70 says:

    True—I hate the way that our current Administration degrades America through, for example, our torture policies, and I want someone who will stand up against that sort of thing. People who don’t think that sodomizing children may not be the best of ideas in the longer term may not understand this feeling.

    You have said this on every torture thread, but I have not seen your site. Or is this another Reality based fact that is spread by a Massey liar type. Just curious. I know that terrorists who behead schoolgirls in Indonesia deserve our respect for their cultural differences, right? Or is it just easier to slime our soldiers and our country?

    I mean no one here has mentioned any of the daily atrocities that have been going on in the Islamic radical world in months. Not since Iran hung those poor boys have I seen anyone discussing what is going down in all these countries. It’s just Bush bashing all day everyday and twice on Mondays to make up for the football day. Why would I trust my safety on anyone on the left? Do you know what is happening in the war on terror just today? I know it is not as important as quoting the latest in polls that somehow sample more Deomcrats than Republicans every time. Sheesh.

  20. 20
    p.lukasiak says:

    I really don’t know what to make of this…

    read between the lines of the article. Dean has spent his time strengthening the party organization, especially its grassroots, and the big money donors are pissed off because he hasn’t been personally kissing their asses enough.

    The “internet” people from whom Dean raised $20 million weren’t Democratic loyalists. We didn’t give a damn about the Democratic Party, and up until the point when Harry Reid started growing a set of balls, we still didn’t. But the fact that the DNC has raised $11 MORE under Dean than in the previous election cycle tells you that he’s doing something right.

    We didn’t want someone like Dean running the DNC because we thought he would be a more competitive whore for fat cat dollars. we wanted Dean because we wasn’t a whore.

  21. 21
    Pb says:

    Woo, Stormy, way to find the sour grapes. Incidentally, I don’t think “America: Now 30% Nicer Than Muslim Extremists!”–as a slogan–is going to score you many points around the world. Although the “it’s all a vast liberal conspiracy to damage our President, bankrolled by a cabal of giant, wealthy media corporations” angle might play better on Fox (owned by News Corporation)–just tell them to ditch those liberal “Opinion Dynamics” shills (owned by Hollinger).

  22. 22
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Why would I trust my safety on anyone on the left?

    Why would you trust your safety to the people on whose watch the largest, deadliest terrorist attack in American history happened? Seems to me that for all his tough talkin’ bullshit, Bush and his buddies failed about as miserably as anybody can fail in the “keeping America safe” department on 9/11. Which is perhaps why the people who were actually struck by those attacks voted overwhelmingly against the man for whom “Bin Laden Determined To Strike Within United States” wasn’t quite clear enough.

  23. 23
    Kimmitt says:

    You have said this on every torture thread, but I have not seen your site.[sic]

    An eminently reasonable request; my source is a combination of Seymour Hersh and Major General Antonio M. Taguba.

    From Mr. Blumenthal:

    The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened”. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it’s going to come out.

    From Gen. Taguba:

    8. (U) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):

    a. (U) Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

    b. (U) Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

    c. (U) Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

    d. (U) Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

    e. (U) Threatening male detainees with rape;

    f. (U) Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

    g. (U) Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

    h. (U) Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

    Gen. Taguba’s report (and the ongoing suppression of the videos by the Pentagon) makes Mr. Hersh’s allegations credible.

    I know that terrorists who behead schoolgirls in Indonesia deserve our respect for their cultural differences, right? Or is it just easier to slime our soldiers and our country?

    On that note — go to hell, you moronic brownshit fuck.

  24. 24
    Kimmitt says:

    Ah, two small corrections; please replace “Mr. Blumenthal” with “Mr. Hersh,” and “moronic brownshirt fuck” with “moronic brownshirt fuck” — the latter for emphasis.

  25. 25
    Pug says:

    The Republicans always raise a lot more money. Duh.

    Their constituents tend to be big business and more affluent Americans. You know, the ones who have money.

  26. 26
    Zifnab says:

    If you ever read “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt, he has an interesting take on campaign contributions – namely that parties don’t win because they receive large campaign donations, but because when they receive large donations either A) it’s a forgone conclusion that they were going to win anyway and you always want to bank on the winner or B) they’re getting that surplus cash from more people who will in turn be voting on them come election time.

    If the RNC is taking in that extra $40 million from interest groups who know something we don’t, perhaps the Democrats really are in for a tough fight in ’06. If they’re getting the money from a groundswell of popular support (aka the little guys) then not only are the Dems screwed in ’06, but this country has seriously gone batshit crazy.

    Of course, there’s other possibilities – that the DNC is squirling away money in state agencies like some have suggested, or that having more sitting Congressmen and a sitting President just gives the RNC that much more muscle to get things done. Lord knows if you want to buy a Congressman, now’s the time to do it. Everyone’s for sale and there’s no garantee who’ll be in a seat year from now. Or there’s the possibility that the RNC is receiving the same checks to received two years ago and the same checks they’ll receive two years from now so $81 million is par for the course and there’s no need to panic or rejoice.

  27. 27
    Marcos says:

    The GOP, in addition to being God’s Official Party, is also the party of Money and Power. No surprise that they can milk more contributions from their base than the Dems.

  28. 28
    Sojourner says:

    I mean no one here has mentioned any of the daily atrocities that have been going on in the Islamic radical world in months

    The reason is obvious. What’s there to say other than these atrocities are terrible. Duh.

    Fortunately, most of us do not use your standard of as long as America isn’t as bad as these other countries, we maintain our moral superiority.

    Obviously you’re free to take that position. The rest of us expect much, much more from our country and have a good deal more confidence in our country – that we can be safe and truly moral at the same time. I feel bad for people like you who don’t share the same confidence in our country and moral standing.

  29. 29
    Sojourner says:

    The Dems should be worried about their fundraising. I know that many of my Democratic friends refuse to donate to the party for a couple of reasons. First, they want the party leadership to grow a pair. Second, they reject the move towards the right displayed by party leaders like Clinton and Biden.

    I think that problems with fundraising reflect a party that has yet to address a basic tension in the party between its base, which stands for very real principles, and those who care only about winning elections.

    How many more elections will the base hold its nose and vote for someone because at least s/he’s not a Republican?

    And yes, those on the right, go ahead and cheer the splintering of the Democratic party. Those who continue to support this administration clearly have given up their principles a long time ago.

  30. 30
    Kimmitt says:

    I think that problems with fundraising

    Due respect, but record fundraising is not precisely a “problem.” It may be something that can be improved upon, and I think you’re right about the Dems needing to grow a pair, but Dean appears to be lapping McAuliffe, whose Big Thing was his ability to raise cash.

  31. 31
    BIRDZILLA says:

    It looks like even with all that funding from the hollywood left the demacrats are still unable to keep it going

  32. 32

    […] Kos has an update on the Dean fundraising efforts we discussed the other day, and provides some perspective: […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Kos has an update on the Dean fundraising efforts we discussed the other day, and provides some perspective: […]

Comments are closed.