Sunday, June 11, 2006

Democrats Taking Advantage Of National Displeasure With Republicans, Raising Big Bucks For November


Republican party leaders tell the Washington Post today that Democrats are doing a better job than ever of raising money for House and Senate candidates.

Democrats say they are tapping into widespread grievances among voters against President Bush and the Republican Congress. But, by all accounts, they are also using tactics that helped Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress: pushing for small donations from activists -- on the principle that small gifts can add up -- and pressuring elected members from safe seats to give financial help to colleagues.

The easier time Democrats have had raising money in 2006 -- timed, not coincidentally, with a slowdown in Republican fund-raising -- is being seen by some analysts as a sign that the political tides have changed.

In other words, some upset Americans -- who normally stay on the sidelines -- are putting their money where their mouths are and backing Democrats. Other upset Americans -- who normally would support Republicans -- are staying on the sidelines.

Amy Walter, a nonpartisan political handicapper for the Cook Political Report, agreed that Republicans' problems appear to be at the grass roots. "This mirrors the problems Republicans could have with turnout," she said.

***

The 2004 presidential election offered the first clues that Democrats could neutralize, if not overcome, the Republican money edge. Starting with then-presidential candidate Howard Dean (D-VT), Democrats raised more money over the Internet than strategists in either party anticipated.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee offers a case study of how Democrats are starting to catch up at the congressional level. Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) is widely considered the most effective fundraiser Democrats have placed in that job in years. A veteran of the Clinton White House, Emanuel has pressured Democratic members to give more money to their at-risk colleagues and has intensified efforts to squeeze more money from individual donors. In 2002, at this point in the election, the DCCC had raised $6.5 million from donors who gave less than $200. This year, Emanuel has tripled such donations to nearly $21 million. Other Democratic committees also have experienced growth.

"They have been so bad they can only get better," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas Reynolds (R-NY). "What you have seen is Rahm put them on a path to do so."

5 Comments:

Anonymous deaniac21 said...

Get ready for the L A N D S L I D E !!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Bandit said...

Don't count your chicks before they hatch
Over 90% of incumbents retain office....Republicans are bad everywhere but in your home precinct your guy is good.. Remember all politics are local.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

yes, but six months ago, the talk was that the Dems would have to win 19 of 24 seats, and that only 24 were in play. Now, the analysts are talking about 40-60 seats being in play.

I think a lot of analysts are shifting their predictions on voter turnout. If the Dem vote swells and/or the GOP voter pool shrinks (stays home or switches parties), then the House could go Democratic.

The Senate remains a big longshot. Dems have to pick up 6. At best, I think they pick up 3 or 4 (Santorum, Burns, Frist's open seat and maybe DeWine or Chafee). Hard to see any way the Dems can do better than that.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous deaniac21 said...

Look at 1994. We can and will do the same!

2:50 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

actually that would be difficult to repeat. Redistricting by GOP dictates that. 1994 saw a 65-seat change, suggesting 100 or so seats at least had to be "in play."

If 40 or 50 seats are in play this year -- and that's not clear yet, then the Dems should be able to pick up 15. No guarantee, but plausible.

2:50 PM  

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