Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Money Can Be Exchanged for Goods and Services

It seems that every few months, the media churns out a hand-wringing story about how poorly the Democrats are doing with their fundraising under DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Just last week, StudioDave dropped a piece of hot steaming Drudge here that rehashed the familiar storyline.

As much as I respect a "journalist" whose credentials are nothing more than a fedora and the friendship of Sith Lord Lucianne Goldberg, I think I tend to like things like facts in my reporting.

Luckily, the good people of Bloomberg are once again on the case:
Democrats, seeking to regain control of the U.S. Congress this November, are narrowing their fund- raising gap with the Republicans.

Democratic Party election committees raised $143 million in 2005, up from $128 million four years earlier, led by a record amount collected by the Senate campaign organization. Republican committees raised $206 million, down from $234 million in 2001, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Democrats also reported $47 million in the bank at the start of 2006, $18 million less than the Republicans. That compares with a $37 million difference at the start of 2002, the last year congressional elections were held when there was no presidential race.

"It will give the Democrats a boost, even psychological,'' said Herbert Alexander, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a campaign-finance specialist. "It's always nice to have money and it's always nice to be able to spend it in meaningful ways that will help the party win seats.''
Let's recap those numbers, in case they're not clear enough.

First, the Democrats have increased their fundraising totals by $15 million while the Republicans have decreased their fundraising totals by $28 million. Taken together, those facts mean that the Democrats have narrowed the gap between the parties by some $43 million.

Second, the Democrats' traditional disadvantage in cash-on-hand has shrunk by $19 million. As we've already discussed in earlier posts, Dean has been spending cash like a drunken sailor no-longer-drunk President Bush, building up the infrastructure at the state and local level. The fact that he's accomplished so much and still managed to cut the cash-on-hand disadvantage in half is impressive as hell.

Yes, the Republicans still have an advantage when in comes to the overall money totals, but they've always had that and likely always will, as long as they continue to echo the "fuck the poor!" credo of the Roman Senate in History of the World, Part I. Despite the traditional edge that the GOP has had in money, the Democrats managed to fight to what was basically a draw in the last two presidential elections. Erase that edge, as Dean has been doing, and the Democrats take the lead.

(Thanks to Rising Hegemon for the link.)


S.W. Anderson said...

Gee it's helpful right now to get some good news. Good for you for posting on this.

Maybe some kind soul will run off a copy and send it to Fox's Belt-loose Bores. I seem to recall them spending several minutes recently clucking their tongues and making much about how Howard Dean, after making a spectacle of himself in the '04 campaign, is bankrupting the party. All part of their ongoing spew about how Democrats can't get or do anything well.

I'd love to see them have to eat their words. Of course, facts aren't essential to their operation either.

Thrillhous said...

Hell yeah, that's what I'm talking about. For all the moaning and groaning you hear in the media (I love the "belt-loose bores" line, SWA), I think we've got some kickass leadership, both our upfront people (Pelosi, Reid, Dean) and our congressional people (Schumer and Emmanuel, in particular).

Back in the 90s and early 00s, it seems like the dem operatives just wanted to compete directly with the GOP on moneyraising. It seems like now it's not so much about totals (although they are looking mighty good), it's about the way the money is being spent.

Otto Man said...

Has there ever been a worse pundit name than "the Beltway Boys"? The term "beltway" is usually used to describe people who are clueless about the world outside D.C., and the term "boys" is normally not used on septagenarians.