I started to put this in the comments as a response to Tater Tate in the post below, but I think I’ll bring it top side for commenting.

Let’s just make an assumption that some of you can feel free to disagree with, but I think is valid: the Abramoff scandal is not hurting Ralph Reed with voters right now because no one is paying attention. As Tater mentioned in the comments, I had a similar experience over Christmas — not one person really cared.

But, let’s assume that the Cagle campaign is made up of competent strategists (it’s not really an assumption. It’s a known fact actually). So, they have to make some shrewd and honest calculations. One of those calculations has to be on fundraising.

If I were a Cagle strategist, I’d venture to say that a strength of Reed’s is his ability to raise money from influential people connected to the President’ campaign. In fact, if I were a Cagle strategist, I think I’d go out on a limb and say Reed has a significant ability to outraise Cagle based on his connections acquired through his own dealings and his dealings on behalf of the Bush campaign. I’d then do what any strategist does and this is to figure out how to neutralize that advantage.

How about scandal? Nothing makes a donor turn cold faster than the potential of connecting the donor to a scandal.

So, my speculation is that the Cagle campaign has been pushing the Abramoff story out there as much as possible not to hurt Reed with voters, but to hurt Reed with donors. And, from talking with friends and acquaintances who are Reed donors, I think there just might be some impact. We’ll know for sure in a few days.

Now, of course, in writing this, it seems so obvious, perhaps I’m late to the party on this. What are your thoughts? Have I missed the mark?

Technorati Tags: Casey Cagle, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed


  1. GAWire says:

    Folks are talking about Joe Voter-type folks that don’t really care about a DC scandal, and also talking about Ralph’s amazing ability to implement grassroots strategy. What I haven’t seen yet is anyone implementing a real grassroots anti-Ralph strategy. This would essentially be using Ralph’s strategies to educate conservative voters on his past dealings, etc. That is something a website or two isn’t going to be able to do, and it has to come from somewhere other than something stating “Paid for by Cagle for Lt. Gov” or “Paid for by GA Dem Party”!

    I do think it is true that many conservative voters don’t really know much or care about a potential scandal. Much of the rural conservative vote in this race will be determined by candidate likability – not a scandal. On the other hand, the vote in the metro area will sway based on what happens with Reed’s scandal.

    I also wouldn’t say that the Abramoff thing hasn’t hurt Reed’s numbers at all. It definitely hasn’t killed him yet, but RR’s numbers have had a decline – he was strongest at his announcement. Now, much, if not most of that is due to Cagle’s hard work, but I can honestly say that this scandal is not totally unknown to voters.

    What’s that I hear you asking out there? How do the numbers tell me that? My answer: UNDECIDEDS! There is a high number of undecideds and the decrease in that number is mostly due to Cagle pulling them on his own, but a lot of the remaining U’s are waiting to see what will happen with the RR saga. So, is there enough U to put Reed over Cagle if things go well for Ralph? What will happen if Abramoff decides to include Ralph in his newly-discovered memories from his College Republican days?

    Well, all I can say is that the trends from current and previous polls show that Casey’s steady gain, along with his likability among voters, combined with negative name ID around Ralph and whatever comes about with the Abramoff thing, SHOULD be enough to turn U’s into a W for Cagle. That SHOULD indicates a big IF, b/c a lot can still happen in the next 7 months.

  2. 4ofspades says:

    I think this disclosure will tell if the scandel has had an impact, if Reed’s fundraising has slowed it may show that people are concerned. I should say the “money people” who tend to follow things a little closer.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    I think that the three Members of the Georgia Delegation that accepted personal funds from Jack Abramoff need to quickly donate those funds to charity. Those Members would be, Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss and Congressman Jack Kingston…

  4. Maurice Atkinson says:

    The impact will not be significant now, but will in May, June and July. It is still to early to register other than political junkies. But once we’re away from the holidays and to the last lap, don’t think for a minute people won’t be talking about it,,,,,,, and being worried at what he will do to the ticket.

  5. Jay Dawg says:

    Since we’re speculating, how about some wagers on money!

    Predictions for Disclosures:

    Sonny $15 million, becuase even his awful staff can’t screw up raising money when you’re the Governor of Georgia.

    Cox $3 million with some surprising GOP names on there.

    Taylor: $4 million but who cares cause he has daddy’s money.

    Reed: Ralph probably just gave up on GA money and went for national money. He should easily surpass his last disclosure with all this extra time to raise money and since the scandal means nothing (disagree Erick, sorry), Ralph should easily be at $2.8 million. I bet he comes in over $3million and it will be mostly out of state big dollar donors.

    Cagle: Supposedly Casey said he had crossed $1 million at the Atlanta Station fundraiser. Haven’t heard much since then. Probably $1.1 million. I doubt he could do much more.

    Hecht: Haven’t heard much from Hecht but he’s a hard worker. $750,000. We’ll see if those internet ads worked.

    Martin: With all his trial lawyer support, $1 million.

    Stephens: Hard to tell, haven’t heard much. His first disclsoure was pretty weak. This is an important one to show he can actually raise money. I’ll say $500,000. At least it better be $500,000.

    Handel: Again, hard to tell, haven’t heard much from either of them. I bet she’s around $250,000. She got a late start.

    Kemp: Kemp will struggle in fundraising since Black and Irvin have so many farmers behind them. I’d be shocked if he was over $250,000. That’s the most he raised in his senate races, i bet that’s all he can do here.

    Black: Well, Chase, his manager, told me over the summer they’d be at $1 million by Dec 31. I bet it is more like $500,000.

    Irvin: At least $1 million. Should be around $1.5 million. He’s been in for 30-something years. If he can’t raise a million he is weaker than I thought.

    McGuire: 500K, reasonable number with the support he has lined up.

  6. Tammi Metzler says:

    Jay Dawg,
    You might really be onto something with those disclosure predictions. I think most of those are probably pretty accurate. A couple things to think about, though…

    McGuire is probably still working on flipping his SoS contributions. I think he’ll do well, but not show more than about $300K on this report…good luck to him! 🙂

    I think Handel will definitely post more than $250K!! Even with her “late” start, she’s got all of those Fulton County big money connections to tap. I mean, with all of those companies who do business with the county, she has got to be able to show $500K. Those are the kinds of companies that will dig deep because they know they have to. And from what I’ve heard, she’s been hitting the phones pretty hard.

    Martin won’t top $1 million. Yes, he’s got those hard-core trial lawyer connections, but remember that the trial lawyer leadership in Georgia are trying to make nice with Republicans this cycle. I doubt if you’ll see GTLA die on the hill for a candidate like Martin. At least not this early.

  7. 4ofspades says:

    Mcquire didn’t even raise $200k in 2 reporting cycles for the SOS race. Dont think he’ll get any where near $500.

    As far as SOS race, Stephens raised $230K last cycle and said it was a record for any SOS race. I haven’t verified that. So $500k for Handel would be crazy.

  8. Wow, How the nubmers were off…

    Sonny, you said 15, actual 10

    Cox, you said 3, actual 4

    Taylor, you said 4, actual 5

    Reed, you said 3, actul 1.79

    Cagle, you said 1.1, actual 1.3

    A little off, eh. Overall good though.

    Kemp and Black amazingly even.

Comments are closed.