Tuesday, June 02, 2009

2010 - Follow the Money – Democrat Fundraising Down Despite Obama “Star Power”.

A Politicoarticle released this morning noted that some Democrats are concerned over the less than stellar recent fundraising returns. Apparently, even Barack Obama’s appearance at a Hollywood fundraiser was not enough to sell higher priced “tickets” which were ultimately discounted, allowing the event to be a “sell out”. The three fundraising arms of the DNC (DNC, Democrat Senatorial Committee and Congressional Committee) have raised a total of 56 million this year, compared to the RNC, which has come in at $54.9 million. This may be somewhat disheartening for Democrats, who rely heavily on donations from Hollywood and Organized Labor, with individual donations having been heaviest during this past general election cycle. Apparently concerns that the base is feeling “safe” due to the outcome of the election (i.e. George Bush is no longer in office), the individual donations have slowed. The author did not take into account that the solid DNC base makes up only 30% of the electorate, while the balance came from those moderate Democrats and Independents who may not be overly enamored of the Democrat Party given the current state of the economy. The gambit to blame George Bush and the Republican Party is losing luster as time passes, and, with the state of the economy, those Union contributions (which make up a large part of the DNC funds) will be harder to come by – the inability to collect dues, due to worsening conditions and future inevitable layoffs (GM may have gone to the UAW, but the success of GM will be in the hands of the American People who already prefer American Owned Fords to the Government Owns GM models.) Further, as the rest of the nation suffers from increased prices (food and essentials), and job losses, the image of the President taking a weekend jaunt to New York allegedly on the taxpayers dime does nothing to open the individual pocketbooks of those who may be “less fortunate”.

The Politico article further notes that the DNC is barely ahead in fundraising, “despite the current toothless state of the Republican Party, its dispirited base and its dim prospects of taking back control of any branch of government in 2010." That author’s statement is a bit premature, although the media “party line” is a constant reminder that the Republican Party is less than, it fails to take into account the raw fundraising numbers which would indicate resurgence rather than demise. The fact that the RNC has raised, according to Politico, 1.1 million less than the Democrats is telling - as it is, in reality, a slim divide. Further, with the RNC reinstituting its phone banks, individual donations will play a larger factor. Additionally, with a large percentage of the populace not certain about the Democrats move to socialize everything from the banks, to automakers to health care (which is turning into a harder sell – despite Obama’s attempts to tie it to the economy) they are bound to take a second look at the oppostion. Also of note: when the Daily Kos, a left leaning political website, is not on board with the current administrations policies, there are problems in “river city” as that is "the base of Obama".

What of the dim prospects the RNC has of taking back any part of the Congress? It would be too early to make any bold statements regarding who will control the legislature come 2010 – as the economy worsens, and recovery will not begin soon enough, those who did not partake of the non-existant “hope and change, middle-class resurgence” that was “promised by the current party in power, will most likely turn (as has happened repeatedly in the past) to the other party, specifically if that party has the fiscal responsibility edge. As hard as the DNC and pundits (Conservatives alike) point to the excesses of the Republican controlled legislature, the numbers pale in comparison to today’s Democrat Congress. It will be based on the economy – it will be the candidate that has the ability to lay out a plan to create private sector jobs, and one that instills confidence in their state and/or district that will get the nod from the people in 2010. As not one of the pundits has a crystal ball, the outcome is yet to be determined; the only reliable predicator is historical trends and the probability of a resurgence like that seen in the 1980’s-1990’s is more than reasonable given the Carteresque qualities of the current administration and the eerily similar congress and senate that drove the initial Republican Resurgence. The true indicator will be in the fundraising reports at the end of the 2009, should the Republicans find their coffers filled with both corporate (what is left of corporate) and more importantly individual donations, hope and change will have been rejected for tried and true.

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