Friday was the deadline for campaign finance reports for state-level candidates. On the Council of State, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) and state senator / AG candidate Josh Stein (D) lead the pack in the money chase for that particular group. DPI’s June Atkinson hasn’t yet raised any money — telling the drivebys that she hasn’t decided on running for reelection in 2016.
But the real buzz out there is over the money chase in the governor’s race:
[…] The reports show Cooper raised $2.2 million through June 30, which left him with $3 million cash on hand. McCrory raised $1.3 million and had $2.4 million on hand.
That nearly $900,000 advantage in fundraising gave Democrats something to cheer about on Friday – for good reason, according to longtime GOP strategist Carter Wrenn of Raleigh.
“You very seldom see a challenger outraising an incumbent when it’s a governor or senator,” Wrenn said. “This is a really good sign for Roy Cooper. He’s outraising a sitting governor. I don’t know when the last time that happened.”
Wrenn said if it had been Cooper who pulled in $1.3 million to McCrory’s $2.2 million, it would be considered a strong showing for a challenger. “But when you flip them, it’s really unusual,” he said.[…]
Carter makes a really good point here. One more thing to consider – how much each candidate is getting from individuals who can vote in the 2016 election as opposed to PACs and out-of-state sources. (We’re going to look at that later.)
That made a real difference in a 1996 race I covered: congressman David Funderburk (R) vs. DPI superintendent Bob Etheridge (D) for the Second District. Funderburk had been involved in a high-profile, controversial car wreck. But his fundraising numbers overall were far-surpassing those of Etheridge.
I took a look at fundraising for the two party nominees since the Funderburk controversy hit the news. I noticed a dramatic influx of cash into the Etheridge campaign treasury from people living in the Second District. (Most all of Funderburk’s cash was from conservative groups in the DC area.) For that particular time period, Etheridge was actually outraising the incumbent Funderburk.
THAT was the thesis of my report on the race. It ticked off Team Funderburk that I went that route. But it turned out to be quite prescient.
I am not spinning for Pat. He hasn’t done so hot of a job. He’s got a lot of work to do if he wants four more years in Raleigh. There IS plenty of time. But the governor’s team needs to turn it up several notches.