"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Before the Spin: Q3 Fundraising by Haners


Happy first day of October! With the start of a new quarter, we will begin seeing the fundraising totals for candidates across the state and country trickle in. These numbers will obviously be an indicator of strength or weaknesses for candidates in competitive races, so these numbers will be scrutinized heavily. Along with that scrutiny will come spin from various camps, and before that happens I wanted to offer some observations.

Gubernatorial Race

All three of the Republican candidates have the chance to make big statements with their quarter’s fundraising reports. For McInnis, posting big numbers will help mute the rumblings about the campaign’s less than stellar rollout and the increasing narrative that he is beatable despite his early advantages. Penry would be staging a huge coup if he is the either the leader or a close second in fundraising, and would have to be considered the front-runner. While no one (not even Dan Maes) expects Maes to lead in fundraising if he so much as posts somewhat decent number he is a) in a position to make his case if McInnis and Penry start tearing each other to pieces, b) be more justified in staying in the race period, and c) would earn some much needed free press.

Of course, all of these numbers will be compared to Ritter’s posting which will also be important. The best case scenario for Republicans is for both major candidates to be close with whatever Ritter posts. If McInnis and Penry are close in fundraising numbers but both have outraised Ritter, Republicans should get together and celebrate (before promptly contributing more money to one of them) and Ritter will be seriously damaged. If Ritter raises much more than both candidate, we could see the narrative switch to one that while Ritter may be vulnerable he is far from being defeated. If Ritter and one of the Republican candidates are close, expect the national parties to get more involved earlier as that will be a sign that this will be much more competitive than 2006.

US Senate

This next quarter is far more important for Buck and Frazier then for Jane Norton. Given that Norton has only been in the race for a couple weeks, neutral observes are going to give her a pass if she comes in a bit behind, but if she raises about the same or more then Buck or Frazier in a few weeks then they did in a whole quarter, they’re in for a major embarrassment. If Buck and/or Frazier took things seriously this quarter and out perform their previous numbers (and Norton is behind) there will be more justification for them to stay in the race. In short, they have much less room for error with this quarter’s fundraising.

I fully expect that Bennet will far outpace anyone on our side, and thus won’t change anything too much.

State Treasurer

Can Stapleton pull off another huge fundraising quarter? He’s in the driver’s seat right now and will stay there if JJ Ament has a disappointing quarter. It’ll be harder for him to stay in the race if Stapleton continues to open up a huge lead on the fundraising front.

Secretary of State

If Gessler posts another disappointing fundraising quarter (12k last quarter) then one of two things will happen. 1. Nancy Doty will view Gessler as beatable or jump into the race, or 2. Scott will be viewed as the sacrificial lamb and will get even less attention then he has to date. The first scenario is admittedly unlikely as Doty has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Scott McInnis, and I doubt that Doty will jump into this race until she knows where she stands for the Lt. Gov nod. Either way, Scott isn’t even in the driver’s seat for his own primary; despite the fact he’s the only one in it. Sorry Scott.

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