Monday, April 02, 2007

The long analysis

Hillary Clinton raised 36 million for round one of the fundraising competition, blowing away any previous idea of what was possible this far out of a primary.

Keep in mind, however, that 10 million of that was already in the books from her 2006 senate run, and was not actually raised this quarter, bringing her actual amount down to 26 million. And according to this article around 21 million of that total can be used for the primary. The rest must be used for a general election.

Also according to the article, Barak Obama is expected to come in at around 21 million, drawing his accomplishment equal to Hilary's. (Obama hasn't officially reported yet.)

Now add in Mitt Romney's total of $23 million of which all can be used for the primary (2 million of which was a loan to himself).

This totally destroys the conventional wisdom of the Clinton Machine being able to amass money at such a clip as to make it impossible to compete with her. Relative neophytes such as Obama and Romney matched her right out of the gate, with Obama competing from the same pool of donors.

The biggest surprise for me was the fact that John Edwards raised 14 million. To be honest I had written him off in the wake of Obamamania, but this really makes a statement. He looks like the heir apparent when and if more media scrutiny begins to peel votes off from Obama, which is certain to happen (ask Howard Dean.)

Also of note on the Democratic side is Governor Richardson with 6 million, allowing him to stay in the conversation. I know that all the Republicans that I know would consider him the most dangerous of the Democratic Contenders in the general.

Dodd, Biden, and everyone else, thanks for playing, we have some nice parting gifts. It's not the money, it's you. If you could get to third or fourth place by default, we'd let you back in, but four candidates are not going to implode to open the door for you.

On the Republican side, let's be honest, Romney needed this. Had he not pulled this off in the monstrous fashion that he did, he was toast, especially considering he is getting little to no traction in the polls. It will be interesting to see what he has on hand, as building the infrastructure, from what I assume is scratch, to do this must have been quite possibly an expensive chore. He has believers and, from the totals, they ain't all Mormons.

Rudy did well, especially considering he was relatively late in building his network. I would expect him to challenge Romney for the fundraising lead next quarter unless he gets beset with scandal. This money definitely proves that he is not a placeholder candidate that Republicans are using until they find someone that they truly like as has been surmised by some.

Which brings us to McCain. He supposedly had Bush's network, and got Bush's numbers which would have been tremendous if this was 2000. McCain is going to have to innovate in a hurry in order to keep up. This does nothing to dismiss the perceived "blood in the water" that many have been trying to associate him with.

Here is a statement from the McCain Camp:

During the first quarter of 2007, John McCain 2008 campaign received nearly 60,000 contributions from all 50 states, averaging $200 per contribution. The McCain campaign will report over $12.5 million in contributions for the first quarter.

Campaign Manager Terry Nelson said, “Although we are pleased with the organization we’ve built and polls show us strongly positioned in key primary states, we had hoped to do better in first quarter fundraising. We are already in the process of taking the necessary steps to ensure fundraising success moving forward.” Nelson added, “Fundraising in the first quarter is no more important than fundraising throughout the entire primary election campaign.”

As I mentioned in a previous reply to my first fundraising post, part of this is ameliorated by McCain's high name recognition in comparison with Romney, which Romney will have to spend more money to overcome, but this advantage does not help him vs. Guiliani.

All in all, this is pretty sobering for team McCain. But I do have some good news for McCainiacs that I will cover later.

1 comment:

Framer said...

I don't think I am premature on caling Clinton out at all. She has spent the last few years setting her network up, Obama and Romney have spent pehaps the last year, and their effort was just as good, if not better.

For the front runner, it is extremely important that you establish inevitability. Clinton did not do that. There was no point in holding off donations for next quarter, she needed those now. Now Obama and Romney have put a massive chink in her inevitability.

As a prospective Obama donor, are you more or less likely to donate to Obama, or even Edwards for that matter now that you have seen that Clinton is not going to run away with the nomination?

As a prospective Clinton supporter, do you think it would now be advisable to wait to see what pans out next quarter before committing further? Enough potential doners do that, and a drop in Clinton's numbers become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

McCain is likely to see this type or wait-and-see to an even larger degree.