McCain Has an Underwhelming Fundraising Month

MSNBC's First Read has the details.

The McCain campaign announced it raised a campaign record $27 million in July, campaign manager Rick Davis said on a conference call with reporters. While the figure is a campaign record, it is less than half of Obama's biggest one-month haul -- $55 million in February of this year, which helped finance his primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

In June, Obama raised $52 million. But Obama has had to raise more, in part, because the Democratic National Committee had been far outraised by the Republican National Committee.

[...]

The RNC raised an $26 million in July and has has $75 million cash on hand for a combined $96.4 million cash on hand, Davis said.

Through the end of June, Obama had $71.7 million cash on hand, and the DNC reported just $4.5 million on hand for a combined $76.2 million, according to federal campaign finance data.

Let me note that First Read's numbers with regards to the DNC are a bit off -- they miss the campaign finance filings of the DNC's joint fundraising committees, which bring the overall cash-on-hand as of the end of June to roughly $20.3 million. Put in combination with the roughly $72 million the Obama campaign itself had in the bank as of last month's filing deadline, and the Democrats' presidential effort had about $94 million on-hand -- or just four to five million dollars less than the McCain campaign and the RNC combined to hold this month. So unless the Obama campaign and the DNC had historically terrible fundraising months or spent several tens of millions of dollars that we didn't notice during the month of July, it appears to be close to a foregone conclusion that the Democrats will continue to maintain a significant cash advantage over the Republicans (a rather remarkable occurrence given the historic financial advantage of the GOP).

So as you can see, regardless of how Republicans try to spin these numbers -- that they represent a record haul for the McCain campaign, that they reflect confidence in McCain's chances -- the fact of the matter is that the Republicans' fundraising numbers are relatively unimpressive. The McCain campaign and the RNC (which can raise money in chunks more than 10 times as large as presidential campaigns) combined to bring in about the same amount in July as the Obama campaign alone brought in during June. The Republicans' combined haul was close to $20 million less than the Democrats' combined haul in June. While we do not yet have the Democrats' numbers for July, these initial reports don't sound particularly great.

Finally, it's worth underscoring that the Republicans banked close to no money in July. Coming into the month, the McCain campaign and the RNC had a combined $95 million on-hand; at the end of the month, they apparently had $96.4 million, meaning that they burnt through nearly all of the money they raised. While it's understandable that the McCain campaign is spending its money at a rapid pace -- it must blow through all of its money before the end of the first week in September, when the Republican National Convention ends -- the RNC has no excuses, and should be doing much better at storing up money for the fall.

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U.S. Forces Abroad Give to Obama Over McCain by 6:1 Margin

This kind of undercuts the notion that military voters would rather see a Republican in the White House next fall, or John McCain instead of Barack Obama.

During World War II, soldiers crouching in foxholes penned letters assuring their sweethearts that they'd be home soon. Now, between firefights in the Iraqi desert, some infantrymen have been sending a different kind of mail stateside: two or three hundred dollars -- or whatever they can spare -- towards a presidential election that could very well determine just how soon they come home.

According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul.

Despite McCain's status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

This is not a normal occurrence -- it's a map-changing one. In 2000, for instance, George W. Bush outraised Al Gore among military personnel by roughly a 2-to-1 margin. In 2004, Bush's advantage over John Kerry in this metric was 1.5-to-1. Some analysts may try to explain this disparity away -- some in the article linked above, for instance, suggest that making contributions to an anti-war candidate can stem from news of an extended deployment, or that Obama is simply more savvy about online fundraising than McCain. But does go beyond this. Contributions do not overwhelmingly shift merely because of technology. There is something much more fundamental occurring -- a shift within the military away from supporting the GOP because that's the way it's done towards a willingness to support the Democratic Party, which in fact is much better for the American soldier (and indeed the nation as a whole).

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Use It Or Lose It 2008

Yesterday Sven at My Silver State posted a diary here on MyDD detailing the amount each member of the Senate Democratic caucus has given to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- the entity charged with seeking to grow the Democratic ranks in the upper chamber of Congress, with the goal this cycle or next of attaining a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority. This listing came on the heels of reports that Joe Lieberman, who has endorsed John McCain for President, has contributed $115,000 to the DSCC this year (on top of roughly that same amount contributed during the previous calendar year).

The listing isn't a perfect measure for gauging members' support for the DSCC -- it does not include the amount members have directly raised for the committee this cycle, for instance -- but it is a good start towards seeing the extent to which individual Senators are willing to be team players in creating a significantly larger majority that would greatly increase the likelihood of progressive legislation getting through Congress in the next two years. Looking through the list, there are a few names that stand out:

  • Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who is not up for reelection until 2010, has contributed just $15,000 to the DSCC through his PAC (not listed in Sven's post, but I'm told this is the accurate figure) despite the fact that he has more than $10.6 million in the bank in his campaign account.
  • Tom Harkin, who is up for reelection this cycle, has contributed $20,000 while his campaign cash-on-hand sits at $4.1 million. For reference, Harkin's GOP challenger has $293 in the bank, and the polling puts Harkin up at least 15 points.
  • John Kerry, who is also up for reelection this year, has given $32,000 to the DSCC ($30,000 through his PAC, plus a $2,000 check from his wife). He is currently sitting on close to $8.9 million in the bank (compared with less than $35,000 for his GOP opponent), and consistently leads by more than 20 points in the polls. In 2006, Kerry contributed $250,000 to the committee following that year's Use It Or Lose It effort.
  • Max Baucus faces the voters in Montana this year. Baucus has already contributed north of $600,000 to the DSCC, but still has $5.5 million in the bank at a time when his opponent has not yet filed campaign finance reports.
  • Jay Rockefeller is up for reelection in West Virginia this fall. He has contributed $350,000 to the DSCC, and may still need some of the $3.3 million he has on hand for his efforts this fall (though he is not considered vulnerable whatsoever at this juncture).

There are other names on the list, which is worth going through, but these names stand out as members who could potentially afford to contribute more to the effort to reach 60 seats in the Senate by making transfers to the DSCC.

So I am with desmoinesdem, Sven, and the others who would like to see another Use It Or Lose It effort this fall.  We here at MyDD are already doing our part to help out by contributing to candidates on the Road to 60 Act Blue page, but further effort could be used in politely -- politely -- asking members to dig a little deeper into their campaign accounts to help the DSCC expand the map and increase the likelihood of achieving a filibuster-proof margin in the chamber. Remember, this is money that they have raised, money that is under their control to use as they see fit (within the political context), so be respectful and do not make a demand. But if you ask nicely, it's just possible that they will see fit to transferring a bit more money to the DSCC, thus increasing the chances at a filibuster proof margin this fall.  

Here are the email contacts for Evan Bayh (info@allamericapac.com), Tom Harkin (link to contact form), John Kerry (support@johnkerry.com), Max Baucus (link to contact), and Jay Rockefeller (web@jay08.com). Be polite, be respectful, and we might just get something done.

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Help jump start the fight against Chambliss!

I know there are big and important (and not so important) topics that have jumped up on this board in the past couple of days.  Hopefully, I can cut through some of that for some attention.  There are tons of great candidates out there in races across the country, and I am here to continually pass the hat for my little corner and its Senate race.  Namely, GA-Sen.  Let me be somewhat honest - I speak somewhat as an opportunist, as I believe there is a national dislike for Saxby Chambliss among Democrats.  That dislike has yet to convert into the funds we need to strike him with the hammer of karma.

So, I'll start with my fundraising link and repeat it once you've finished reading.

Perhaps I should try to come up with a clever title for the coming series of diaries I will be working on.  I am not a member of the Jim Martin campaign, but I have done some volunteer work with him both in the 2006 Lt. Gov race and the current election.  My original motivation is to push for Democrats (most of the Dixiecrats in Georgia have switched parties by now) within Georgia.  However, with Jim Martin, I think there is a person I can support both as a party member and as a person.

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Saxby Chambliss sez: My netroots beat yours

Crossposted to Big Orange.

So sayeth his campaign to RedState's Erick Ericson, who is a big part of the Peach Pundit in Georgia.

Jim Martin needs a lot of help, and I think he is worthy of some netroots love.

We don't have the benefit of a complacent opponent here in Georgia.  Chambliss, cur that he is, has read the writing on the wall and sees that Georgia is in Democratic crosshairs.  Presidentially speaking, anyhow.  The guy has a war chest that most candidates can only dream of, somewhere around $5.5 million.  He knows the Republican calvary is not going to appear, other than to allow McCain to raise some cash with big donors in the state of Georgia.

The thing is, we can cause the Republicans some headaches with a strong Presidential-Senate showing this year.

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Diaries

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