Saturday, July 19, 2008

The view from the Jersey shore

As the sun slowly sinks in the west, the shadows lengthen, and talk turns from the phenomenon that is the Great White Shark to evening eats-and-drinks, Malcolm lays down his glass of refreshing, reviving Sam Adams.

He pauses to reflect on his reading of the local "heavies".

One persistent thread, a harbinger of the coming autumn campaign, is the success of the Democrats in filling their coffers.

Here, for example is the WSJ headline:
Obama Raised $52 Million in June, Outpacing McCain
The same story is dealt with by the New York Times (and available in full, without registration).

That's almost £1M a day; and explains why Obama went off-message to side-line the public financing provisions introduced after Watergate. In case anyone has missed the significance of that:
Mr. Obama spent more time raising money in June than he had in virtually any other month since the campaign began, with fund-raising events in most every city he passed through. He is the first candidate of a major party to forgo public financing for the general election since the presidential financing system was created three decades ago in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
Because he can afford to.
Because he has the confidence to do so.

My god! How the money rolls in, rolls in!

The sums involved are breath-taking. Here's from later in that WSJ article:
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended June with a combined $92 million cash on hand, compared with $95 million for the combined McCain-RNC operation.

By itself, the Obama campaign had $72 million cash on hand at the end of June and the DNC , $20.3 million. In June, the DNC raised $22.4 million, up from $4.7 million in May before Sen. Obama secured the nomination.

On the Republican side, the national party reported $69 million in the bank at the end of June, while the McCain campaign had about $26 million in cash...

Sen. Obama has so far raised $347 million for the general and primary elections combined.
And there's still a full quarter of collect-and-spend to come.

And there's more!

The next article, on the same WSJ page is:
Fund-Raising Efforts Bolster Democrats' Congressional Hopes.
This narrates two key threads:
... five Democratic challengers for Senate seats now held by Republicans raised more money than their GOP opponents
The House Democrats' campaign arm hass a big fund-raising advantage over Republicans.
That means that the Senate seats in Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia, where Republicans retirements are creating vacancies, are now definitely in play. In addition incumbents Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina and Ted Stevens in (Heaven help us!) Alaska are feeling a cool breeze. The graphic accompnying the article shows that, in pretty well every case, the Democrats have more moolah to spend than the Republicans, both candidates or sitting tenants. In the case of Elizabeth Dole, she:
spent heavily on television advertising, [and] saw her coffers shrink by almost half a million dollars over the three-month period.
In that respect, Chris Cillizza notes:
Elizabeth Dole (R) is in the race of her political life against state Sen. Kay Hagan (D) but the fundraising ability over the last three months -- $1.5 million raised! -- and significantly narrowed Dole's cash-on-hand edge. National Democrats believe strongly in their chances here as evidenced by the nearly $6 million in ad time they have reserved.
The matching and telling quotation, in the WSJ, is from the Cook Political Report:
"I think the question now for candidates is not how much you have raised, but how much do you have on hand."
Go to the Cook Report (which is still calling the November Presidential Election a "toss-up", with 79 Electoral College votes beyond assessment), and we see that most of the recent predictions shift in favour of the Democrats. We also find this:
Put yourself in the House GOP's shoes for a minute. Just about every time you've thought things couldn't get any worse this year, they have.
Now Malcolm devotes himself to more important matters, fluids by mouth. Sphere: Related Content

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