Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fundraising: Insider Money Comes Early, but...

The lastest campaign finance report numbers are out. For the first time, Republican Asa Hutchinson has outraised Attorney General Mike Beebe in a monthly report. Hutchinson raised $262,000 last month, compared to $225,000 for Beebe. Though Beebe has outraised Hutchinson overall $4.32 million to $2.33 million the two are almost dead even in cash on hand, with $1.16 million for Hutchinson and $1.29 million for Beebe. The X-factor in the cash on hand is how much went to Beebe's big media buy that has not yet been aired. That would be almost the same as extra dollars in Beebe's cash on hand, since those dollars are out there, but have not yet impacted the race. Nevertheless, the numbers clearly indicate that the fundraising momentum is shifting as we move into the middle rounds.

This phenomenom is explained by the three phases of political fundraising and the relative strengths of each candidate in each of the three phases, and was predicted on this site over two months ago.

(continued- to read about the phases and reports on the other state wide offices click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The first phase of political fundraising is the early game. This phase is heavily weighted toward insider and lobbyiest money, which tends to come early. These people know that a candidate that piles up a lot of money early can scare off competitors and create an "air of invincebility". For those reasons, early money normally has more impact than late money.

Asa has quite a few inside connections, but Mike Beebe has been doing these people favors for 20 years and had a huge pile of markers built up. That is why he has excelled at phase one, the Early Game.

The Middle Game is where we are now, though we have only a month left on it. It depends on the 2% of the population that are politically engaged, but not professional insiders. They are the "barely insiders". The key to getting their dollars is to 1) call and ask them for it and 2) have fundraisers, preferably with big-name keynote speakers. The middle game is determined by those people that will attend a politcal fund-raiser, who enjoy visiting with some of the big-names even if they are not professional political class types themselves.

Both men have a fairly strong middle game, but Hutchinson has done a better job of brining in big names to maximize his contributions from the Middle Game group of donors. This is why we have seen the fundraising numbers shifting from Beebe to Hutchinson as we have moved from the early to the middle game.

From Labor Day on the focus will shift to the Late Game. If a candidate has dominated enough in the first two phases, the election is normally all but over in this time and they don't much need to worry about a strong late game. That will not be the case in the Governor's race, or in seveal other state-wide races.

The late game is composed of one last round of donations from your insiders and prior donors if the race is close and then a broad appeal to a bunch of small donors who don't start really paying attention until now. It costs a lot of money to raise money in the late game. Both candidates for Governor have the money to play the late game. The amount of money to be raised depends on how much fire your candidate can bring to your base, and/or how much loathing and disgust they can generate toward your opponent.

I expect that Hutchinson will have a strong late game too. Beebe will have a weak late game, not in absolute terms but relative to his early game. Because of this, I expect Asa to match or exceed Beebe in fundraising in September and October.

1:16 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Independent Rod Bryan has no cash. Green Jim Lendall's status is unknown at this time, but after Thursday's court case we should know more.

In the Lt. Gov. Race,

Bill Halter raised $122,000 and has $230,000 on hand. Republican Jim Holt raised $18,000 and has $17,000 on hand.

Halter's money comes from his own pockets and insiders, who are OUTSIDE of Arkansas. That indicates he will have a pathetic late game unless he can demonize Holt. His handlers know this and that is what they are trying to do. $230,000 is a lot more than Holt has, but it is not enough to buy a state-wide election, especially when you have a weak late game running against a guy with the potential for a strong late game. That would be Holt. But executing late-game fundraising is tricky, takes quick decision making, and precision timing. It also takes money to get money. We will see if Holt can pull all that off.

1:36 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

For Attorney General

Dustin McDaniel is in a bit of trouble. He outraised DeLay this month, and has $97,000 on hand, but that is only $19,000 more than DeLay has on hand. McDaniel has handed DeLay the Gun issue and the trust issue, and that will help DeLay in the late game if he can capitalize on it.

1:38 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

In the secretary of state's race, incumbent Charlie Daniels raised $26,195 in July. He had $103,818 on hand at the end of July.

Republican candidate Jim Lagrone of Bryant reported raising $10,708 and spending $17,435 for the month. He had $46,094 cash on hand at the end of July.

If only there was another election beween now and November for Daniels to foul up, then LaGrone would have better odds.

1:43 PM, August 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says Jim can't win? Money isn't everything in politics. It's also about who has the ideas and who wants to actually fix the problems facing Arkansas. It isn't Charlie Daniels. He's caused more problems with election integrity that are too numerous to count. Jim will keep running on Charlie's ineptness and present his ideas to correct the mess Daniels has gotten the state into and the money will follow.

4:01 PM, August 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I share your same sentiment, however, I am more pessimistic in regards to the idea of really "wanting to actually fix the problems of Arkansas".

5:27 PM, August 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He absolutely HAS been presenting his ideas on fixing the election problems facing Arkansas. I think he talks about his "ABC's" of election reform everywhere he goes.

6:31 PM, August 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:27, why are you pessimistic?

7:11 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

LaGrone can still win. there actually IS another election between now and November for Charlie to mess up on. We have school board elections in September. If he blows that one when people are actaully paying attention down-ticket then it could be huge.

7:37 PM, August 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure he'll mess that one up to. I'll be VERY surprised if he didn't.

7:53 PM, August 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Constitution Party lining up candidates for the school board elections? They should be. That and other local races, especially non-partison elections, are the best way to build a party or build up a party. Since the Republicans seem to be ignoring those elections, this would be a great opportunity for the Constitution Party to really gain a foothold and also start reforming the system where it needs it the most. Those elections could really be won without alot of money because the lobbyist do not regularly get involved at that level. What say you?

12:05 AM, August 18, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Give me a week on that one.

5:42 AM, August 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My pessimism is a result of a failing system, and a complacent drone-like population. We have become so vegetative in our approach to government. We sit idly by as our so called "leaders" force more bogus legislation down our throats. Pardon my barage of synonyms describing the drone-state.

4:17 PM, August 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. People don't get out and vote, yet they complain when the policy makers do something they don't like. Well, the solution to that is to GET OUT AND VOTE!! Voting is the only way problems have any hope of being corrected.

5:52 PM, August 20, 2006  

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