Q2 Fundraising Expectations - Democrats
by Todd Beeton, Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 08:37:01 AM EDT
The meaning of fundraising numbers at this early point, as we all know, is largely an expectations game by the media, a game in which the campaigns gladly take part. So, what's the status of expectations 4 days out from the fundraising deadline? Let's look at the Democrats.First quarter numbers can be found here. As you'll recall, the big story was Obama outraising Clinton in primary dollars. It also cemented Edwards in the top tier as his $14 million take was not only well above his stated $10 million goal for the quarter, but it was also double his 2003 Q1 fundraising.
So what's the latest buzz?Hillary Clinton has been playing the expectations game by predicting that Obama would once again overtake her this quarter but now it looks as though the opposite may be true. From The Caucus:
[A leaked campaign] memo...estimated that the Clinton campaign would raise roughly $27 million this quarter, which ends June 30. Some of her advisers have predicted raising $27-$30 million for the quarter.The LA Times has Obama's spin:
Obama, who raised $25.7 million from January through March, could surpass that total, though aides say they have no chance of beating Clinton. Obama amassed a stunning list of 104,000 donors in the first three months and since has expanded that base.But really, regardless of who wins the fundraising race between them, both will remain the top two competitors in the Democratic field. Watch for Obama to continue to stress the number of donors to play into the "movement" narrative from his fundraising asks (even now his website declares 3876 donors just since June 25.) The one question on people's minds: will either of them break the $35 million 2003 Q2 record set by George Bush?
Edwards's Q2 strategy has been to set a goal of $9 million and to track the progress on his website. As of now, it states that Edwards is at $7,559,801 from 51,919 donors. Expect the number of donors to be key here as significantly fewer, 40,000, donated to his campaign in Q1. While the media has seemed to sense a whiff of desperation in his latest fundraising asks, expect Edwards to exceed the $9 million (especially with his secret end of quarter weapon Elizabeth on the case,) to play up the fact that it's double his Q2 take from 2003 and that it places him on track for their $40 million goal by the Iowa caucuses.
"This is not about outraising our opponents in a meaningless fundraising arms race or what any of the other campaigns are doing around us," said Edwards' spokesman, Eric Schultz. "This is about executing our plan, which is raising enough money to push our message in the critical early states, and building strong operations around the country."
No matter how Edwards does though, an impressive quarter by Richardson could drag him down off his top tier perch in the media's eyes into a new second tier. All Richardson needs to do, it would seem, is outperform his own Q1 numbers to impress and potentially knock Edwards down a peg. As The LA Times writes:
What's more, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who raised $6.2 million last quarter, could surpass that total and draw within striking distance of Edwards. That would vault Richardson's standing in the contest at Edwards' expense.
For Richardson, strong Q2 numbers would be an opportunity to secure a spot alongside the big guys, a narrative that's already begun based on his rise in the polls.