Saturday, July 22

Lost her fundraising mojo?

This story in Saturday's New York Times portrays Elizabeth Dole (R-SC) as someone who has lost her popularity and her ability to effectively fundraise.

WASHINGTON, July 22 - The tables were loaded with untouched platters of food as Senator Elizabeth Dole rose this week to introduce her party's Senate candidate from Nebraska. Sixty people were supposed to be at the fund-raiser, but Mrs. Dole, the host and leader of the Republican effort to hold the Senate this fall, found just 18 people scattered across an expanse of empty carpet.

It's possible that this is a smear job by others inside her own party who are anxious to take her job as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It could also be that Democrats pushed the paper to carry this story. Either way, it's not going to help Sen. Dole's ability to fundraise in coming weeks. When celebrity fundraisers who rely on personal networks of rich friends begin to lose their mojo... poor fundraising results become a self fulfilling prophecy.

On this blog we won't be covering the horse race stories all summer and fall about which politician was able to squeeze in an extra fundraiser before a reporting deadline and appears to have a significant cash lead... we don't cover political fundraising unless their is something the fundraiser doesn't want to tell the donor.
She has been lapped in fund-raising by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The latest filing, on Thursday, showed Democrats with $37.7 million on hand, compared with $19.9 million for Republicans. If Senate Republicans are unable to close the gap, it will force the Republican National Committee to step in with financial support in tight Senate races - it had $45 million on hand as of Thursday - creating tensions with House Republicans who want that money used to help them.
With tension rising, Senator Dole uses one of the best stall tactics employed by direct marketing fundraisers when explaining slow results to the Board of Directors:
She said that the reason she had less money on hand was because she had invested early in mailings to build a base of contributors for later fund-raising.
That might buy her some time with the party brass, but the real question is whether Republican donors will continue giving to a fundraiser whose momentum is fading and whose numbers appear to be on the decline.

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