I noted earlier in the evening that the McCain campaign had whittled down its cash reserves to just $24 million as of October 15, leaving it just over $1.2 million to spend per day, not a great deal of money. According to the latest campaign finance filings, the Obama campaign had significantly more money in the bank as of the same time. Here's the AP:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama reports raising $36 million for his campaign during the first two weeks of October.
Obama's fundraising pace showed a marked decline compared with the $150 million he raised in September. That's according to a financial report he filed with the Federal Election Commission late Thursday.
Obama spent more than $105 million from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. At that pace he would more than double his record spending from September.
He had nearly $66 million in the bank at the end of the two-week period.
A few things to note. First, the Obama campaign had about 2.5 times more money in the bank as of a week ago than the McCain campaign. Though the combined efforts have closer to similar amounts of money when the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee are taken into account, the party committees are significantly more constrained than the candidate committees in spending on the presidential election. What's more, while the Obama campaign can, and no doubt has and will continue to, fundraise, the McCain campaign is stuck with the money it has (which by now may be as little as $12 million by now).
That all said, as you can all see, unless more money goes into the Obama campaign's coffers, it won't be able to spend at the roughly $7 million per day clip at which it was going earlier this month. This doesn't mean that the campaign is cash-strapped. Even without any more contributions, it would be able to spend about $3.5 million per day (a very hefty amount of money). Indeed, Al Gore and George W. Bush only had slightly more money -- $68 million -- to spend over the entire general election campaign in 2000 instead of the final three weeks.
Nevertheless, these numbers underscore a key point: Obama still needs our help. We're in a good place, but this race isn't over. We can't take anything for granted. We need to hit the pavement hard over the next 11 days and leave nothing on the line. And if we can, we should make a contribution to his campaign.
McCain, who has accepted public financing for his campaign, is restricted in his spending. As of Oct. 15 he had more than $25 million in hand, but more than $1 million debts. The RNC, which has been helping his candidacy, had more than $59 million in the bank.
At McCain's spending rate of $1.5 million a day, the Arizona senator likely has only $12 million to spend in the next 11 days before the Nov. 4 election.
Republicans might point to the Republican National Committee's still relatively flush coffers as a way to argue that they will be able to effectively wage a campaign against the Obama campaign. But as I have noted before, and Marc Ambinder explains, RNC independent expenditure dollars just aren't worth as much, in a sense, as dollars spent by the actual campaigns.
But comparing IE spending and campaign spending is like comparing fermions and bosons. IE committee don't get the preferred rate; campaigns do. So the Obama campaign, by consolidating spending, gets more bang for its buck.
We do not yet have the fundraising and cash-on-hand numbers as of October 15 from the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee -- they are required to be in to the FEC by midnight -- but unless the spigot of grassroots support for the campaign got unexpectedly shut off at the beginning of the month, it's likely that the Democrats will have significantly more money than their Republican opponents to make this final sprint to election day. In short, this ain't a bad place for Obama to be 12 days out from November 4.
We have this conversation every four years, and have had it for longer than I've been alive -- are Jewish voters on the verge of defecting the Democratic coalition? Of course the evidence for this trend, which is apparently always on the horizon, is scant. But nevertheless, every four years, the punditry, goaded on by smooth talking Republican strategists, plays the role of the concern troll and wonders whether Jewish voters would be joining the Republican coalition. Well wonder no longer.
Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22%.
The Obama/Biden ticket is poised to perform about on par with other recent Democratic presidential tickets when it comes to support from American Jewish voters.
The nomination of Sarah Palin, who as recently as two weeks before she was added to the GOP ticket had attended an address by the founder of "Jews for Jesus" and who (to put it lightly) is not very attuned to the concerns of Jewish Americans, certainly did a great deal to help assuage the concerns of the few Jewish voters who had previously been reluctant to back the Democratic ticket this fall. The general trend within the electorate did a great deal to help move the Jewish vote, too (as The Solomon Project [.pdf] has shown, Jews tend to move with the electorate, albeit about 30 points more Democratic than the nation as a whole).
But more than the specifics, this polling provides an yet another opportunity to call to question some of the wholly unfounded and unsubstantiated prattling of pundits this campaign season. Barack Obama can't win Hispanics, they said (though he's actually beating John McCain by better than a 2-to-1 margin). Obama can't unite the Democratic Party, they predicted (though he's pulling in a greater share of Democrats than McCain is pulling in of Republicans). Obama might be the first Democrat to lose the Jewish vote. How wrong were they. As I asked earlier today, isn't it about time for the establishment media to put on those who understand today's electorate and political environment, not those who are stuck in a reality that went the way of the car phone and Beverly Hills 90210 (well, the original one, at least)?
This polling also gives me the opportunity to pass on this ad, which is apparently running these days in Florida -- and specifically the part of the state that is really Flahrida.
Today's Battleground tracker (.pdf) has Barack Obama leading by 4 points among likely voters, 49 percent to 45 percent, while the ABC News/Washington Post tracker (.pdf) shows Obama up 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent. An Associated Press poll (.pdf), which quizzically predicted about twice the Evangelical turnout as has historically occurred (44 percent vs. 23 percent turnout in 2004), shows Obama up a single point, 44 percent to 43 percent. Fox News (.pdf), on the other hand, finds a 9-point Obama lead, 49 percent to 40 percent.
So as has been the case before, we have seen some divergence in the polls, though with most showing Obama at or around 50 percent and John McCain at or below 45 percent, a situation that continues to have Republicans worried -- particularly considering that the amount of time between now and election day continues to shrink without much of any movement towards the GOP ticket.
We are 12 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?
Earlier this month I reported on some of the first skirmishes in the seemingly brewing civil war within the Republican Party. Cut forward now to less than two weeks before election day, and the internecine battle continues, much to the detriment of the GOP.
For starters, take a look at the ad that the National Senatorial Campaign Committee is running in North Carolina -- an ad that all but assumes a Barack Obama presidency:
John McCain is returning the favor -- and then some -- directing fire not only at George W. Bush, but also at congressional Republicans. The Washington Times has the story (h/t Jonathan Martin).
"I think, frankly, the problem was, with a Republican Congress, that the president was told by the speaker and majority leaders and others, 'Don't veto these bills, we need this pork, we need this excess spending, we need to grow these bureaucracies.' They all sponsor certain ones. And he didn't do what Ronald Reagan used to and say, 'No'; say, 'No. We're not going to do this.'"
Per Mike Allen, these types of attacks from McCain have prompted some within the GOP to ask why their current nominee couldn't act a little more like their 1996 nominee, Bob Dole -- yes, Republicans are telling the press they'd rather McCain be more like Dole (because at least Dole realized late in the game that he wasn't going to win, so he directed his energies towards helping out the party down-ballot rather than aiming his fire at his would-be supporters). When you have Republicans wishing you're more like the candidate who reeled in 159 electoral votes 12 years ago, you're doing something wrong -- and there are real divisions within the party.