Monday, September 25, 2006

Money, Money, Money

Interesting that many think that the withdrawal of the DCCC from funding an advertising blitz is an indication of "having the race in the bag."

The truth is that things aren't going as well in the House elections as Democrats had hoped and the money is needed elsewhere at this point in the race, especially in New York where the GOP is holding strong in 4 of the 5 districts the Democrats had counted on going blue. I believe that the Republican and Democratic Congressional PACs are just about equal in terms of fundraising, so the NRCC moving its money to New York, for instance, would be a huge problem for the DCCC if left unanswered. Especially since there five competitive races in New York and only two (if one is generous)in Arizona.

All that said, this is a tremendous advantage for Graf as The NRCC was never really going to donate any more than it could get away with after their failed primary incursion. This is further mitigated by the fact that Graf will get a lot of help from non-Party PACs. I would argue that his advantage here is far greater than Giffords.

The last tidbit is that the Graf Campaign has picked over the festering, rotted carcass of the Huffman Campaign and tapped fundraiser Julee Dawson. It could easily be argued that she is the only member of that group that still has any business being in politics. Huffman certainly had no problems fundraising, and I doubt it was due to his glittering personality.

The word is that Team Graff has set some very ambitious goals for her, and she is performing admirably. Between the new Campaign Manager, Gregg, and Dawson, I believe that Graf's former weakness at fundraising has been overcome.

The coming weeks should be interesting, although I do not believe that we have seen the last of either party committee.

I'll talk about those "polls" in just a bit.


sirocco said...


An interesting point vis-a-vis why the Democratic money pulled out ... but it ignores the fact _conservative_ assessment sites essentially deem their chances of holding CD 8 as slim to none.

No, the NRCC pulled it's money because they see it as money down the drain, and the DCCC followed because without any NRCC money here, it doesn't need to be here either. As you note, the money would be better allocated elsewhere.

All of this is certainly liable to change, and if the numbers three weeks from now show a legitamately competitive race, both organizations will be back with a vengeance.

Another interesting point about Dawson ... although it remains to be seen how much of Huffman's fund-raising was due to her efforts and how much was Stevie's backing from the Kolbe/Click faction.

The Committee said...


Great points!

The NRCC, and the rest of the GOP establishment, was sold early on the notion that Huffman was a winner and Graf was not. The establishment people are truly out of touch and rely heavily on their congressmen and funders to give them perspective. (This is not unique to Southern Arizona). Obviously, Kolbe wanted everyone to have a certain perspective and that's what the D.C. crowd bought. The NRCC only became involved because of the big money pressure from funders connected to Kolbe. As a response to the damage sustained by the local GOP in the primary, the NRCC made a token gesture of support for Graf, but had no real commitment. They merely wanted to appease the irate majority of Republicans who threatened to never contribute again.

The DCCC has from the beginning simply reacted to the NRCC. The NRCC says Huffman is our man, and the DCCC reacts with anti-Huffman ads. The NRCC says Graf isn't our man, and the DCCC reacts by pulling out since they see no need to work against an unsupported candidate (i.e. they expect it can be won with local resources).

And I agree that, unfortunately, the NRCC and DCCC will likely return when the race gets close which is likely to occur in the next couple of weeks. The race between the two just began, and Randy Graf has a lot of NRCC/Huffman damage to repair that has chased away independents and some Republicans. No doubt, he will win many of them back in the coming weeks.

As you pointed out, Click twisted so many big money arms that you have to wonder what Dawson had to do in the Huffman campaign. Dawson is still unproven although she has performed well so far. And she is a critical component of the Graf campaign. She can make a huge difference either way.

mybossthinksimworking said...

I've met Julee Dawson, and I can tell you... this is only going to benefit Graf's campaign. She's one of the best fundraisers I've ever seen (she even managed to squeeze some blood out of this stone once when she did some fundraising for the party).