Just to sum up in order to frame the following memo, there are clearly three tiers of candidates with respect to fundraising for the quarter.
Nathan broke the numbers down here, but let’s put it into a summary of money raised this quarter (exclusive of loans):
Broun: $280K (per ZPolitics)
And still waiting on numbers:
A while back I wrote a column attempting to explain that things have changed with respect to fundraising and frankly, campaign strategy. This is the result of a change in the runoff to a 9 week campaign. Donors have time to sit back and wait to pick a winner. Outside groups will likely take a pass until there is a clear favorite and/or a clear enemy. The goal for any candidate in one of the “jump ball” races is to get into a runoff. Then…we get to do this all over again for 9 weeks.
Karen Handel’s campaign not only sent along her quarterly fundraising numbers, but also some hints as to what they’re looking at as to how they’re positioned to take one of these two slots. Some select quotes follow:
- Karen leads in the latest poll (Insider Advantage released on October 3rd).
- In the 3rd quarter, the campaign raised $286,000 from 1,129 individual donors. 1,049 of those donors and 91% of the money raised came from Georgia.
- The campaign’s grassroots support grows each week with former GA GOP Chairman Sue Everhart endorsing Karen this week, along with dozens of elected officials.
- In the 2010 Gubernatorial race, every major candidate outraised Karen significantly. Karen won the primary, while the candidate who raised the most money finished last. In fact, the top four candidates finished in nearly reverse order of how much money each raised. Being the best candidate, the smartest candidate, and the most qualified candidate is what wins elections — that is Karen in the Senate race.
There is extensive comparison to Karen’s performance in the 2010 Governor’s race and her position in the race as it stands today. And frankly, a lot of this logic still holds:
- Karen won the primary with 231,990 (34%) of the 680,499 votes cast in the 2010 primary election.
- Karen was strongest in vote-rich metro Atlanta.
- In Fulton County, Karen won 62% of the 42,000 votes cast. Georgia’s first congressional district had roughly 50,000 total votes cast in the 2010 primary.
- Karen won 8 of the top 10 counties.
- Karen finished first in 24 out of the top 40 counties by voter turnout. She finished second in the remaining 16 top 40 counties.
And for this campaign, there’s the strategy of being able to run against Washington:
- Washington and Congress are wildly unpopular, and it will take millions of dollars in advertising for any congressional candidate to overcome the electorate’s dissatisfaction.
- Last week, NBC/Wall Street Journal released a poll showing that, given the opportunity, 60% of Americans would vote to replace every member of Congress – including their own member.
- Congress has an approval rating of just 11% in recent polls.
So, that’s a glimpse of how the Handel campaign sees themselves and their position as we enter the 4th quarter – a time where we are now only 6 months from qualifying. They have name ID and a statewide grassroots network with proven results. They know how much name ID will cost some of their competitors to build. And most of them have Washington baggage while DC is polling at all time lows.
I see the logic and believe it’s a respectable path to one of the two tickets to the next phase. That said, we still have roughly 8 months until we’ll know which two candidates get their tickets punched.