Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Do Gerry Connolly's Fundraising Numbers Compare to Other "Vulnerable" Candidates?

After a close reelection campaign last year, Gerry Connolly started off 2011 by putting together some good fundraising numbers. A chart released by Roll call that highlighted fundraising numbers for House members who "won with less than 55 percent of the vote in 2010, are considered vulnerable by either party, or both,” showed that Gerry had raised $345,000 during the first quarter and had $303,000 cash on hand.

Since the chart prepared by Roll Call focused on what could be some of the closest races during the next election, I thought it was worth doing a little analysis of the numbers to see how Gerry’s numbers compare to those reported by others on the list. Here are some of the stats I came up with:
  • Of the 119 members who made it onto the list, 64 were Republicans and 55 were Democrats.
  • Of those on the list, the average amount raised was $190,848.74 and the average cash on hand was $264,840.34.
  • 29 of those members on the list raised less than $100,000 during the first quarter
  • Only 21 members on the list (10 Republicans and 11 Democrats) ended the quarter with more cash on hand that Gerry.
  • Only 10 members on the list actually raised more money than Gerry. Of those 10, only 8 ended the quarter with more cash on hand.
It’s also worth noting that Michele Bachmann was the only one on the list who raised more than a million dollars (she raised $1.748 million and has $2.832 million COH). Much of that was because she has become the darling of the Tea Party and is considering a presidential campaign. Since the funds in her Congressional campaign’s account could be transferred to a presidential campaign, these funds are likely a result of people donating to express their support for her potential presidential bid. Besides Bachmann, only Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) had more than a million dollars in their campaign accounts at the end of the first quarter.

What this all means is that when compared to the other potentially vulnerable candidates, Gerry’s fundraising numbers were much better than his cash on hand numbers. This makes sense because a close race is going to drain the campaign coffers no matter where the race is held. When you combine this with the fact that the Northern Virginia media markets are some of the most expensive in the country and Gerry’s race was so close in 2010, it shouldn’t be surprising that there wasn’t much money left in Gerry’s campaign account. The fact that the donations are already flowing in quickly this early in the 2012 cycle shows that donors are energized about keeping Gerry Connolly in Congress. These strong numbers can only help as the campaign advances.

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