Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicken Feed: Candidate Fundraising

The Daily News-Record reports that donations to John McCain and Barack Obama are running pretty close in zip codes beginning with 228 - Harrisonburg, much of Rockingham, a little of Augusta, and parts of Shenandoah and Page. According to the article, McCain raised $39,520 and Obama $36,166 through August from donors in those zips. To put it another way, that is about 52% for McCain and 48% for Obama.
Seems to me this is great news for the Democrats in general and Obama specifically. The area covered by those zips is bright red Republican. Some of the reddest in the Commonwealth. At least in past national elections when GOP candidates could count on 60% to 70% of the donations. Or more. Could all that be changing?
Now, I know that dollars don't vote, but dollars give campaigns the ability to influence the vote. Dollars open campaign headquarters and pay for phone banks. Dollars indicate a level of enthusiasm. A donor talks to friends and family. A donor wins other votes.
It was interesting that a doctor who donated to McCain only did so because he is infatuated with Palin and her anti-choice stand (Gobble... didn't she say she made the "choice" to have this last child? A choice she'd quickly deny other women.). Wonder what he'll do if McCain dumps her from the ticket, as many conservatives are now urging? He didn't seem too enthused about McCain - will he want his $2,300 back?
Valley Republicans have to be concerned about recent trends. They've been squabbling among themselves with bitter divides between the conservative and flat earth groups. The fundraising advantage that they once enjoyed is shrinking. The rapidly disappearing big edge they had in volunteers and enthusiasm. The fact that Democrats don't seem to be intimidated any longer by Republican taunts, bullying, and theft of campaign signs. Yeah, they still have the local newspapers, especially the News-Record, to sound the call for them. But, there is increasing parity between the parties in the Valley - a good ingredient for a robust democracy.
It is amazing what 8 years of incompetence does to a political party. Simply amazing.
Federal candidates have limits on contributions and many other rules they must follow. In Virginia there are few limits other than disclosure. If you want to check federal or state campaign contributions in your area, or contributions from specific industries or interest groups, you might check these sources:

1 comment:

unionman said...

I noticed on page 2 of today's Waynesboro news-Virginian under "Police briefs" they listed two Republicans signs being stolen in Staunton. While I was at the Staunton Obama headquarters last night, at least three people came in for relacement Obama/Biden signs they said had been stolen. Almost everyday I am there at least 1-2 people come in complaining of stolen signs. One gentleman stated he was collecting his dogs poop to put around his front lawn sign, hoping it would deter the theft of it. One woman last night said she was going to cover hers in cooking oil.