Friday, July 11, 2008

Those big-money Democrats... again

In what is a very big surprise, Republicans are projecting that they will raise $400 million from all sources to support Sen. McCain in his run against Sen. Obama this fall.

This is a staggering figure, considering that McCain is a notoriously poor fundraiser -- and probably an optimistic figure. Still, Republicans are doubtless understanding that they are really up against the wall in this election. With no hope to regain control of even a single house of Congress, and smart money saying that we'll actually lose seats in both houses, all that stands between America and one-party Democratic rule in Washington is Sen. McCain, so it is time for Republicans to buck up. Literally.

Unfortunately, even if those cheerful Republican figures turn out to be true, Sen. Obama is projecting close to $500 million. What should be noted is that a $100 million dollar deficit in favor of Democrats is nothing new.

In 2004, we had an incumbent President and majorities in both House and Senate. And yet, here is what Karl Rove recently had to say:

While the GOP may be seen as the party of Big Money, recent presidential contests have shown that – taking unions, George Soros's wealth, and organizations like MoveOn.Org into consideration – Democrats have a large financial advantage.

In 2004, when each side's spending by candidates, national committees and third-party groups was totaled up, Democrats outspent Republicans in the presidential race by $119.4 million.

In other words, we were behind by more than $100 million in a good year -- a year when Sen. Zell Miller proclaimed that his Democratic Party was "A National Party No More."

The same is repeated here in Montana up and down the ticket this year and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight for the foreseeable future. We "fat-cat" Republicans had better get used to being outspent by the real big-money party.


David said...

Of course, you're omitting the fact that Obama has had unprecedented success in raising money from small donors. Big money from big spenders isn't quite the same as big money from a whole lot of little spenders.

Beyond that, this has very little to do with Republicans or Democrats. Big spenders put their money where they think it will buy the best return on investment. This year, that looks like Democrats.

Montana Headlines said...

You are right that a certain type of money follows power, and that with Democrats promising to be in control, a lot will follow them.

Regarding small vs. large donors, the only reason that Obama's small donors are such big news is that the Democratic party isn't used to them.

The first million-donor candidate was... Barry Goldwater. The average RNC contribution has always been less than $100, while the DNC has always refused to release that data because of the fact that it would embarrass them and expose them as a party financed by a small number of large donors.

George Bush's average donation was much smaller than either Gore's or Kerry's as I recall, and it wouldn't be surprising if the same proves true again this year with McCain vs. Obama. Even if not, it will be an exception that proves the rule.