Fundraising in 2Q07

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Early rumors are leaking out.  Obama’s fundraising is stunning despite the fact he’s been tentatively playing defense on the campaign trail.  McCain’s numbers will apparently be appallingly poor.  Romney has again dipped into his personal fortune to continue renting decent polls in IA and NH, and his minions have been downplaying expectations on talk radio– although I think there’s a chance they’re playing possum.

I’ve heard no rumors at all about Giuliani’s numbers, though.  I sent him a couple ducats, and it would be charitable to say I am not very liquid.  Hope y’all can do the same.  Has anyone else out there heard any scuttlebutt about how his 2Q07 numbers look?

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One Response to “Fundraising in 2Q07”

  1. Luther C. Hardy Says:

    Dear Karlub:

    Welcome back! I thought you might be interested to see the missive (below) that I sent to my e-mail RudyGroup on the eve of the announcement of the 2nd Q GOP fundraising numbers — the same day you wrote the post above.

    Cheers,

    Luther Hardy
    _____________________________________________________
    As some of you have noticed, I was away form my office all of last week. Consequently, this morning in response to an e-mail from one of you, I tried to set forth where I think we are at the moment, and after the less-than-monumental events of last week. Here it is:

    Rudy’s poll numbers appear to be holding, and actually seem to be “on the rebound” a bit. He has had three straight national polls with more than a ten-point lead. He maintains a better than ten-point average lead in Florida, and the most recent Californina poll shows him with a 14-15 point lead, and a lead in every polling sub-set. Recently, he has moved into a 2.8 point average poll lead in South Carolina.

    Romney still leads in Iowa and New Hanpshire, but this is due primarily to HUGE TV-ad spending in both states, and the fact that Rudy and McCain have essentially ignored Iowa — at least for the time being — and FDT hasn’t yet gotten started. Romney is able to approach 10% nationally only sporadically, and except for the Media hype, he is not yet — nor will he ever be, in my view — actually a serious threat nationally. In my judgment, by focusing so heavily now on the traditional “early states” of Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney is rolling out the “campaign of the past” (think Jimmy Carter in 1976) , just like the generals are supposedly wont to do in preparing to “fight the last war”.

    FDT appears to have reached his “pre-announcement” peak. He appears to have run through the “bump” from his “non-anouncement announcement”, i.e., the “announcement” of his “exploratory committee”, and the buzz seems to be flagging a bit. He will probably get another “bump” when he actually announces his candidacy, but I am convinced that he is essentially an “empty suit” who can read well from a script — which of course doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be an absolutely marvelous Veep. FDT’s next “flash point” will be tomorrow’s weekly Rasmussen poll. That’s the only poll that has shown FDT with a lead nationally over Rudy. Even a quick glance at the Real Clear Politics polling average, however, shows that Rasmussen is clearly an “out-lier”, skewed in favor of FDT. Still, it will be interesting to see what this week’s poll says.

    When people compare FDT to Ronald Reagan as a former actor, they forget that the Great Communicator actually had something of substance to communicate. Despite the liberal-media hype at the time, the half-dozen or so books that have come out in the last few years — particularly the one with Reagan’s own hand-written scripts for his radio talks when he was out of office — have shown conclusively that, behind the genial exterior, Ronald Reagan had worked out for himself a very sophisticated, tough-minded, and very personal political philosophy. The only other national leader in recent years, that I know of, to have done something similar was Margaret Thatcher. If — and I say “if” — the 2008 GOP race ever narrows down to Rudy vs. FDT, Rudy’s “tag-line” almost writes itself: “I actually brought Law and Order to New York City in the real world. Fred Thompson only pretended that he did on television!”

    For many reasons that I won’t take the time to go into, I believe John McCain’s candidacy is essentially over — though it would indeed be foolish yet for any candidate to ignore him. The now-dead immigration bill drove the penultimate nail into his political coffin. The final nail will, I believe, be driven when the 2ndQ fund-raising numbers are announced within the next two weeks. Of course, I can’t say how long he will deny the inevitable and hold on. I do hope, however, that when he does go, he will do so with his customary dignity. When that happens, my judgment is that the largest single bloc of his supporters, i.e., polling numbers, will shift to Rudy.

    Initially at least, FDT will get some significant number of those supporters — don’t forget, FDT was McCain’s National Compaign Co-Chairman in 2000. The two men have long been friends, and FDT supported McCain in the Senate on CFR. I think the final amout of McCain support that will actually shift to FDT, however, will be a lot less than most people think. Whether one likes his positions or not, the typical McCain supporter tends to be something of a “policy wonk”, i.e., someone who bases his political support on actual substantive policy positions. In my judgment, these types of people will suss out very quicky that FDT is an empty suit. When they do, they will flock to Rudy.

    Romney, of course, will get essentially no political support from former McCain people. Indeed, the only other potential candidate who might be able to compete with Rudy for the McCain “policy wonks”, would be Newt, and his possible candicacy remains, at this moment, essentially imponderable. Substantively, I think Newt would make an even better Veep for Rudy than would FDT — and I believe Newt would take it in a heartbeat — but Newt’s “negatives” and his “baggage” are far greater and heavier than those of FDT, so Newt probably won’t get the nod. [Actually, if presidential history is any guide, Rudy probably has some other candidate in mind altogether, someone like Mark Sanford. Still, it might not be a bad idea for Rudy to emulate the Gipper in 1976, and nominate early on someone for Veep who would bring “ideological balance” to the ticket.]

    All of which brings us to the 2ndQ fundraising numbers. The current buzz is that Rudy will lead the GOP pack aproaching $18-20 Million for the Quarter — and the significance of this lead will appear even greater when Romney’s personal contributions to his own campaign are deducted. Moreover, the buzz also says that Rudy will have far more individual donors — Romney’s being heavily skewed toward donors form Utah and the Mormon church — and that, most importantly of all, Rudy will have continued his much slower “burn rate” and will have much more cash on hand than any other GOP candidate. I cannot overemphasize the significance of this single fact. To me this indicates that Rudy is running the “campaign of the future”, not the “campaign of the past”!

    From where I sit, it appears that Rudy is running the “perfect campaign”, to wit: He is putting out substantive policy positions, and giving speeches that are at once realistic, optimistic and forward looking. The positions and the speeches all focus on Rudy’s record and how he will bring that record to bear during his Presidency, especially as it relates to the “terrorists’ war against us”. He has “won” the last two GOP debates by doing just that. He observes the 11th Commandment by refusing to engage in “personal feuds” with other GOP Candidates, and pitches his campaign against Democrats in general and Hillary in particular. He stays resolutely “on message”. He speaks in places that are bastions of social and/or religious conservatives like Regent University and Houston Baptist College, the very people that the “Conventional Wisdom” says are supposed to deny Rudy the GOP nomination.

    Rudy got standing ovations at both places, and came away from the recent Regent speech with something close to an endorsement from Pat Robertson (for Gawd’s sake), even though he announced (at HBC) and reiterated (at Regent) his support for social policies that the Mainstream Media says are anathema to those audiences! Rudy gets reactions like these because, in my judgment, he actually talks to these people and not “at” them. He doesn’t pander to them, and he doesn’t try to fool them. He takes them seriously and implicitly respects their ability to make their own sober judgment for whom to cast their vote, rather than assume, like the MSM, that their vote will be determined by how their collective knee jerks. He admits that he disagrees with them, but stresses Ronald Reagan’s maxim to the effect that “your 80% friend is not your 20% enemy”! It appears to be working. Rudy consistently leads polling sub-sets like “White Male Born-Again Christians”, and something like 60% of Evangelical voters say there is a “good chance” they will vote for Rudy, while another 20% say there is “some chance” they will vote for him. “Good Lord, a politician who is actually honest with us!”

    Most importantly, however, in my judgment is still the “money”. Rudy has implicitly refused to engage with Romney in a “spending match” in States like Iowa and New Hampshire. He has pulled out of the essentially meaningless “Ames Straw Poll”. Unlike what Romney claims to have done, Rudy actually focused on fundraising in 2ndQ 2007, and as noted above, now has more cash on hand than any other GOP candidate. This indicates to me that Rudy is “keeping his powder dry” and saving his cash for the mega-campaigning, i.e., huge and hugely expensive TV Ad buys and direct contact campaigns that will begin in the mega-states around Thanksgiving 2007 — States like California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, et al., that will hold their primaries between 29 January and 05 February 2008. In my judgment, the 2008 GOP nomination will be determined by this mega-state campaigning, and the race will be over by 05 February, or very shortly thereafter. That’s the “campaign of the future” that Rudy is gearing up to run.

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