Monday, July 26, 2010

Little Cash, Big Difference?

Jim Geraghty pulls together a list highlighting 20 GOP candidates for whom a little money could go a long way. For example:
Martha Roby, Alabama’s 2nd district: The NRCC was high on Roby early this cycle, but she found herself in a furious and expensive primary fight that drained her coffers to $121,000, while Democratic incumbent Bobby Bright quietly accumulated a war chest of $734,000. The good news is that advertising is cheap in this district..

Rick Crawford, Arkansas’s 1st district: Republicans have had high hopes for this race since longtime Democratic representative Marion Berry announced his retirement — it is a heavily Republican-leaning district, rated R+8 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Democrat Chad Causey has only about $90,000 on hand, according to his most recent filings, but he has a well-developed fundraising network; he’s spent an astonishing $663,000 since beginning his campaign. Crawford has spent only $221,000 and has $213,000 in the bank. It is another relatively inexpensive district in which to buy advertising, covering northeastern Arkansas, although some of the district is in the expensive Memphis television market.

David Harmer, California’s 11th district: Harmer made a long-shot bid against Lt. Gov. John Garamendi in a special election in California’s 10th district last year and outperformed all recent GOP bids for that seat by a wide margin. Now running in the neighboring district, he has proven to be among the best fundraisers of the entire GOP class of challengers, raising $1.8 million in this fairly media-expensive district. Like many others on this list, a tough primary fight left him severely outgunned in terms of cash on hand: $233,000 to incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney’s $1.2 million.

Cory Gardner, Colorado’s 4th district: As one of the NRCC’s young guns and a prominent state legislator, Gardner has already demonstrated an ability to raise enough funds for a competitive race in normal circumstances. But the Democrat he seeks to unseat, Betsy Markey, took a big hit for her team by voting for Obamacare, and many liberal donors and organizations are throwing cash her way to save her. Gardner’s impressive $762,000 of cash on hand is dwarfed by Markey’s $1.5 million. Markey won this vast, largely rural R+8 district with the help of Marilyn Musgrave’s mistakes last time, but this is one of those seats the Democrats would love to keep, to prove voting for health-care reform was not a career-killer outside deep-blue districts.
The whole list is at the link, including candidates in Illinois, Indiana, New York, and South Dakota.

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