Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

Ted Cruz Raises $1.3 million in Q1, Dewhurst $1.6 million

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The Ted Cruz campaign announced that they raised $1.3 million in campaign funding in Q1, which is up $200,000 from his Q4 numbers. I was a bit disappointed in his Q4 numbers, thinking he should have had more of a bump from his National Review cover appearance, but his Q1 number is actually more impressive, given how long this campaign has dragged on, indicating that the Cruz campaign is still building momentum.

David Dewhurst raised raised $1.66 million in Q1, which was slightly up from the $1.54 million he raised in Q4. Dewhurst, as most predicted, continues to lead the money race, but not by as much as anticipated.

Now the big question is how much of Dewhurst’s own money he dropped in for Q1…and how much he’ll drop in for Q2.

Texas Congressional Redistricting Breakdown

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I’ve been reading up a bit more on the compromise redistricting lines released by the San Antonio district court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot was able to keep most of what the legislature passed, and the Governor signed, intact, but a few changes were made to satisfy Democratic demands to win in court what they couldn’t at the ballot box settle lawsuits by various minority interest groups under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Though U.S. Congressional Districts, State Senate Districts, and State House districts were all affected by the new maps, I want to focus on three U.S. Congressional Districts, including some shown in this map here:

  • District 35: Lloyd Doggett may not be gone, but District 35, the one Doggett plans to run in, is now 65% Hispanic and mostly based in San Antonio. And the recriminations have already started among Democrats: “If Lloyd Doggett would man up and spend that $3 million he’s been hoarding for the last decade, then we could have an extra Democratic seat.” Doggett dodged a bullet when District 20 incumbent Charlie Gonzalez (son of long-time Congressmen Henry B. Gonzalez, who held the office before him) announced he was retiring, letting up-and-comer Joaquin Castro run for that seat instead of 35, but there’s no shortage of San Antonio-based Democratic contenders, including Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo. (There are two Republicans running for District 35, Susan Narvaiz and Rob Roark, both of San Marcos, but given that the new district went for Obaama by 63%, it’s going to be quite an uphill climb for any Republican.) One of the candidates currently running in District 35 is former Democratic Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (who is very pissy indeed about redistricting), who previously represented:
  • District 23: This seat is currently held by Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco, who beat Rodriguez by a little over 7,000 votes in 2010. The redistricting map passed by the legislature made Canseco’s district more Republican, but the compromise district scales back Republican gains. It’s now slightly more Republican (50% of the new district voted for Obama in 2008, down slightly from 51% in the old district), but it’s still close enough that Democrats have to consider this a prime takeover target. Still, Canseco now has the power and name recognition of incumbency, and even if Obama wins (doubtful and frightful, but possible), I doubt his coattails will be particularly long in San Antonio. Texas State Rep. Peter Gallego is the likely Democratic candidate, but so far Canseco is beating him in the fundraising race over three to one. (Disclaimer: Canseco is one of two U.S. congressional candidates I donated to in the 2010 election cycle (three if you count attending a couple of John Carter’s picnics at $10 a pop).)
  • District 27: This is the district where Republican Black Farenthold narrowly edged Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz in 2010. (Despite the narrowness of the result, Ortiz announced he wouldn’t be trying to reclaim his old seat.) The interim map successfully makes Farenthold’s seat more safely Republican; Obama pulled 53% of the vote in the old district, but only 40% in the new. Farenthold also has a considerable fundraising advantage. The Democratic who raised the most for that race is Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos. However, Cameron County is now in District 34.
  • All in all, Texas Republicans expect to pick up two to four U.S. Congressional seats thanks to redistricting, which looks extremely doable.

    And now we finally have election dates:

  • March 2: Filing for office reopens
  • March 6: Filing closes again
  • May 14: Early voting begins
  • May 26: Early voting ends
  • May 29: Primary Day
  • June 7-9: Republican and Democratic state conventions
  • July 31: Primary Runoff
  • References

  • Interactive Redistricting Map
  • The Texas Congressional Delegation
  • FEC Page for Texas Congressional and Senate Fundraising
  • List of 2012 Texas Republican Congressional Candidates
  • List of 2012 Texas Democratic Congressional Candidates
  • The Texas Redistricting Blog
  • Over on the left side of the Blogsphere, the Kos Kids have put up the a breakdown that includes numbers on how each District voted in the 2008 Presidential race.
  • No Wonder Ricardo Sanchez Dropped Out

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

    While it may be unseemly to kick someone when he’s not only down but actually out, the FEC report for now-withdrawn Democratic Senate candidate Ricardo Sanchez tells why he had to drop out of the race (even apart from his unfortunate house fire) in stark detail.

    For Q4, Sanchez pulled in a paltry $40,317. So the anointed Democratic candidate pulled in about one twenty-fifth the amount in contributions serious Republican candidates like David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz received during the same period.

    During the same quarter, the Sanchez campaign laid out $133,210 in operating expenditures. Even deducting the (by my quick count) $32,600 in refunded contributions at the end of the quarter, that’s a ruinous burn rate given how little he was taking in. Like the blue model welfare state, this sort of mismatch between receipts and spending is unsustainable.

    If he were still in the race, I might wonder why Sanchez was not only paying a Jennifer Lehner $11,864 in payroll between October 1 and November 26, plus a $4,000 housing stipend (for San Antonio? That seems reasonable…if it’s for six months), but was also ponying up $2,500 consulting fees for a “Mrs. Ada B. Lehner” residing at the same Carmichael, California address as Jennifer. (“If you hire me, you also have to hire my mom.”) But since he’s dropped out, what’s the point?

    Dewhurst Tosses in Another $2 Million of His Own Money

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

    David Dewhurst loaned his campaign another $2 million of his own money, according to his Q4 report. That’s a considerable chunk of change, but I imagine the Cruz campaign is breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t 5 times that much.

    Another thing that strikes me about his Q4 report (which I have only given a cursory glance to, given there’s more than 800 pages to it) is Dewhurst’s incredibly high burn rate. He’s already spent $4,397,491. Some examples of what he’s spending money on:

  • He seems to be spending $500 a day each on Facebook and Google advertising. I’m not sure that’s money well spent at this stage of the campaign. Last two weeks? Sure. Now? Not so much.
  • Campaign manager James Bognet seems to be pulling down a cool $35,000 a month, plus reimbursement expenses.
  • Finance director Rebecca McMullin is pulling down a respectable $9,480 a month, plus expenses. Kevin Moomaw, an old Dewhurst hand he lured back from his cushy job as a UT professor, is making about the same, which is a goooooooooood salary. (Inside joke.)
  • He gave pollster Michael Baselice just over $24,000.
  • The nice thing about being the “bank” in the race is that you don’t have to worry about funding a top-heavy campaign if you’re getting results. Is he? So far the Dewhurst campaign hasn’t knocked me out with its organizational skill. It’s competent, but I think both the Cruz and Leppert campaigns have been more obviously focused and effective at communicating. But I’m probably not the type of voter the Dewhurst campaign is trying to reach (as far as I can tell, Team Dewhurst reachout to bloggers and new media (beyond the obligatory Facebook and Twitter accounts) is non-existent).

    Charting Texas Senate Fundraising Numbers

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

    To make it easier to see how the fundraising race has progressed, I made a chart tracking donations to Ted Cruz, David Dewhurst and Tom Leppert:

    Since this just tracks campaign donations, it doesn’t include self-funding, which both Dewhurst and Leppert have made extensive use of. After Dewhurst’s full Q4 FEC report is up, I’ll do another chart on those numbers.

    Leppert Has Poor Fundraising Quarter, Releases Taxes

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

    Tom Leppert only raised $387,000 from donors in Q4 plus threw in another half million of his own money. That’s down significantly from the $640,000 he raised from donors in Q3, which was down from the $750,000 he raised from donors in Q2, which, in turn, was down from the $1 million from donors he raised in Q1 of 2011, when he first jumped into the race. That can’t be an encouraging trend-line for Team Leppert, since he can’t self-fund at the same clip David Dewhurst can.

    Leppert also released his taxes for the last three years, which is better than David Dewhurst’s two, but worse than Craig James and Ted Cruz’s five. The Statesman summary: Leppert’s “returns showed adjusted gross income of $1.5 million in 2008, $1.28 million in 2009 and $443, 194 in 2010. In all three years, he paid effective tax rates of more than 21 percent.”

    I couldn’t find where Leppert’s returns were online, so I just sent off a query to them.

    Cruz Raises $1.1 Million in Q4

    Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

    The Cruz campaign announced that it raised $1.1 million in Q4. That’s slightly up from the $1.05 million he raised in Q3, but honestly, I find it a bit disappointing; I would expect him to have a bigger Q4 fundraising bump from his National Review cover than that. They go on to note that the Cruz campaign ended the quarter having raised nearly $4 million for the race overall, and have $2.8 million cash on hand.

    David Dewhurst, as previously reported, raised $1.54 million from donors in Q4, which was down from his Q3 totals, but we don’t know yet if he kicked any more of his own money into his campaign.

    Dewhurst was always going to be the leading fundraiser in this race. The good news for the Cruz campaign is that, given the later primary date from the redistricting court fight, he has more time to close the fundraising gap. And Cruz is still winning the passion and momentum battles. But his campaign still needs to do more to leverage those advantages into contributions.

    Dewhurst Raises Disappointing $1.54 Million From Donors in Q4

    Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

    David Dewhurst only raised $1.54 Million from donors in Q4.

    While far from chicken-feed, those numbers seem really disappointing to me, especially given that he pulled in $2.64 million in donor contributions in Q3. Those are just donor numbers, and we don’t know much of Dewhurst’s own considerable wealth he tossed in until he tells us, or his official FEC numbers go up (there’s usually a significant lag between the campaign announcement and the FEC putting the numbers up).

    As the establishment candidate and presumptive favorite, Dewhurst should be running away in the fundraising race. He’s not.

    Leppert Raises $640,000 in Q3, Tosses in Another $500,000 of His Own Money

    Friday, October 14th, 2011

    Tom Leppert’s campaign announced that it raised $640,000 in donations in Q3. In addition, it announced that Leppert, as he did in Q2, threw in another half million of his own money.

    Those are significant sums, and by no means disasterous, but it’s slightly less than the $750,000 in contributions he raised in Q2, which was, in turn, less than the $1 million in contributions and $1.6 million in self-funding he raised in Q1.

    So far Leppert has run a relatively smart and disciplined campaign, and currently has more cash on hand than Cruz, but he’s still in third place. He hasn’t generated the grassroots enthusiasm and buzz that Cruz has, and I’m reasonably sure he can’t self-fund at nearly the level David Dewhurst can. Though Leppert has positioned himself as a conservative (and issued many conservative position papers on a range of issues), he seems to draw more from Dewhurst’s establishment base in the business community, and the slight decrease in Q3 numbers may indicate that Dewhurst is already eating into those funding sources. Further, I see no signs that Leppert has successfully moved beyond his geographical base of support in the greater Dallas Metroplex.

    On the plus side, Leppert hasn’t seen quite the falloff in donations predicted by Cruz consultant Jason Johnson and he’s continued to attend the candidate forums (though he does not seem to be generating a lot of enthusiasm at them), which is more than you can say for Dewhurst. Also, no more skeletons have fallen out of his closet since the SEIU and ACORN revelations. That might change. (I might even shake a bone or two myself in coming weeks…)

    Obviously the Cruz campaign would like to see Leppert drop out to make it a clear one-on-one campaign against Dewhurst. However, while Leppert has not set the grass roots on fire, he has run a solid race, which is more than you can say for Elizabeth Ames Jones. If things continue on in the same vein, Leppert is well-positioned if one of the frontrunners stumbles or withdraws. After all, it’s politics, and stranger things have happened.

    However, right now Leppert is clearly in third place, and I expect Cruz’s new, National Review-boosted profile to result in a Q4 contribution increase sufficient to erase Leppert’s current self-funded edge in cash-on-hand.

    Leppert is hanging tough and running a competitive campaign, but in the end I don’t think that will be enough to get him into the runoff.

    (Edited to add: After I published, this I noticed that the Dallas Morning News link at the top had been updated to say that Elizabeth Ames Jones pulled in $235,000 for Q3. He doesn’t provide a link for this, and I can’t yet find confirmation on her website, Facebook page or Twitter feed. If true, I don’t see how Jones thinks she can compete with three candidates who all have ten times as much cash on hand as she does.)

    Senate Race Fundraising Numbers: A Historical Comparison

    Thursday, October 13th, 2011

    Here are are some impressive fundraising numbers: Through the end of Q3 on September 30, the odds-on senate favorite has raised $6,444,926.

    The challenger? A comparatively paltry $1,615,165.

    Given those numbers, it should be pretty easy to figure out who the eventual winner is going to be, right?

    Wrong.

    Those numbers are from 2009, the odds-on favorite was sitting Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and the underfunded challenger was then-Speaker of the state House of Representatives Marco Rubio. Of course, that’s Senator Marco Rubio now, since he ended up pantsing Crist so badly the latter dropped out of the Republican primary and ran as an independent …whereupon Rubio kicked his ass.

    What happened? The Tea Party happened and Rubio caught fire as a better (and more conservative) candidate. Also, this happened:

    After that, Rubio’s fortunes (and fundraising) climbed while Crist’s fell. That’s why this:


    Should throw a sense of deep unease into David Dewhurst’s campaign team.

    Of course, that’s not the only similarity between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio:

  • Both are the sons of Cuban exiles.
  • Both earned law degrees.
  • Both were involved with conservative Republican politics from an early age.
  • Both were Tea Party favorites.
  • Both have been endorsed by Sen. Jim DeMint.
  • Both have been endorsed by George P. Bush.
  • I’m hardly the first one to make comparisons between Cruz and Rubio. (The Cruz campaign has not been shy about it either.)

    However, there are some differences that will make Cruz’s campaign against Dewhurst more difficult than Rubio’s was against Crist:

  • Dewhurst is more of a squish while Crist had gotten to be a full-blown RINO (no matter how hard others might make the comparison). None of Dewhurst’s disappointments compare to Crist embracing Obama-Pelosi-Reid’s budget-busting, pork-laden Stimulus.
  • Dewhurst is considerably wealthier than Crist ever was.
  • The Florida primary was much later, on August 24, whereas the Texas primary falls on March 6 in 2012.
  • Crist had been in politics since about 1986, whereas Dewhurst wasn’t elected Land Commissioner until 1998.
  • Rubio-Crist was pretty much a two man race, whereas Cruz must also contend with Tom Leppert (and, to a lesser degree, Elizabeth Ames Jones) as high-profile, well-funded candidates.
  • The Cuban-American community is not nearly as influential in Texas as Florida.
  • The chances of Dewhurst dropping out and running as an independent are, I think, pretty close to zero.
  • Still, at this point Dewhurst is running behind where Crist was during the same period, and Cruz is likewise running ahead of where Rubio was. Also, Texas is considerably more conservative than Florida.

    All this is a prelude to saying that Dewhurst’s and Cruz’s Q3 fundraising numbers are interesting, but hardly dispositive. There’s still a lot of race to be run.