Dean not doing well for Dems
The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean is losing the fundraising race against Republicans by nearly 2 to 1, a slow start that is stirring concern among strategists who worry that a cash shortage could hinder the party's competitiveness in next year's midterm elections...
From January through September, the Republican National Committee raised $81.5 million, with $34 million remaining in the bank. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, showed $42 million raised and $6.8 million in the bank.
Bad numbers for the Dems, to be sure.
Around the blogosphere:
Joe Gandelman at TMV: "The bottom line is: Dean is apparently NOT delivering what the Democrats want and need to mount a spirited campaign against the Republicans."
Otherwise, the right-wing blogs (Don Surber's open trackback is here, The Political Teen's is here) tend to be addressing this story quite eagerly (and gleefully):
See, for example, Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters: "With the midterm primaries less than three months away, the GOP has four times as much money in the bank as the Democrats, and they have done much more work in reaching outside of their traditional base for both voters and candidates... By any measure, the Dean chairmanship has been a failure of embarrassing proportions for the Democrats, but now they're stuck with him for at least one electoral cycle."
And Pejman Yousefzadeh at RedState.org: "[I]t is strange and interesting to see that a supposedly unmotivated Republican base is vastly outraising their motivated Democratic counterparts. If you believe the traditional school of thought regarding campaigns and money, you have to think that the amount of money Republicans have on hand will help in 2006."
But John Hinderaker at Power Line looks at it a different way: "The reason why this discrepancy may be immaterial is that nowadays the Democrats depend mainly on a handful of super-rich contributors, who will undoubtedly come through for them next year with massive contributions to the independent Section 527 groups. So I would expect the Republicans to be out-spent once again, regardless of how the 'official' numbers stack up."
I hope he's right, but perhaps it won't matter much:
John Cole at Balloon Juice: "I don’t think money is going to be as important in the ‘06 elections if things stay the way they are now. The Democrats have a motivated and hungry base, while the Republican party is demoralized, angry, weary, arrogant and fractured."
Fair enough, but the Republicans have a way of unifying their disparate elements for the sake of electoral success, and the Democrats haven't exactly been, well, magnetic lately. It's true that the Democrats do have a few "super-rich contributors," like George Soros, who could tip the balance or at least even things out with the Republicans, but it does worry me that Dean isn't doing better to bring in the smaller donors. American politics are still extraordinarily polarized, after all, and the Democrats can't count on "a motivated and hungry base" alone to secure victory next year -- that is, to win back the House and/or the Senate, or at least to reduce the Republicans' majorities in Congress. Plus, a year is a long time in politics. A single event here or there could reenergize the Republicans. And with so much money then their opponents, the Republicans could leave the Democrats once again tasting the bitterness of opportunities lost.
If nothing else, these disappointing numbers should motivate Democrats to do better. (Give, if you can.)
My previous posts on Howard Dean: