For a complete breakdown of the fundraising/expenditures please visit this post
by Krusty Konservative. For a complete breakdown of what it all means to the candidates, their supporters, and the 1st District, read on...Democrats
Bruce Braley seems to continue to pull ahead. Granted I'm not as in tune to the Dem race as I am the GOP, but word on the street is that this race is all but sewn up.
I'm not sure if I buy into that line though. Braley may have lots of money, but where does it come from? Taking a look at his disclosure is like reading an atlas. A large proportion of his donations range in geographical origins from California to New York. In this case, money does not necessarily equal support. The question is, will Bruce Braley use it efficiently to translate dollar signs into true supporters on June 6th.
Rick Dickinson is still very much in the race. He certainly has an uphill battle ahead of him, with a $106K cash on hand disadvantage to Braley. However, having $142K in the bank is definitely enough to compete. Also notable, he is largely financing his campaign right out of Dubuque County. Those people can actually vote for him, and they very much believe in their "home-town boy."
Bill Gluba...what can ya say? The guy has $22K in the bank and expects to win. I admire his optimism. We'll see if his left-over name ID from previous races will pay off. To his credit, his are the only Democratic yard signs I've seen in my neighborhood so far.
Much to the detriment of Bill Gluba, I think the Dem primary is going to shape up to be a battle of media buys moreso than the GOP race. There hasn't been as much real news in the media regarding the Dem race as there has been on the Republican side, meaning they will need to do a better job with their paid media. This is where Brailey steps up and takes it away. He can use his money effectively to make Gluba an afterthought, and really put some hurt to Dickinson. Rick, on the other hand, may have a better local ground game. Your thoughts?Republicans
Here's the race I've been focused on lately. Aside from the candidates and their staffs, I don't think you'll hear anyone declaring there to be a true frontrunner in this race.
Bill Dix has without a doubt shown his fundraising prowess. Out-raising even the Dems' Bruce Braley, Dix has pulled in over half a million dollars to date. Not too bad for a Congressional primary in Iowa. Also to Dix's credit, he has been pretty frugal with his campaign checkbook. He still has 301K in the bank.
The trick for Dix, though, is going to be turning all that cash into actual votes on June 6th. Whereas I mentioned this as a must-do for Brailey, I think it will be an honest struggle to accomplish for Dix. I think his success with the money has been due largely to a great fundraising consultant on his team, and his ties in the statehouse, though let's not forget that Dix truly is a genuinely trustworthy guy.
I worry for Bill Dix that his time spent this spring in Des Moines has done more harm than good for his campaign. He has been able to fundraise for sure (a donor is only a phone call away), but has he been able to put together a good ground game during that same period? Also, while he uses his prior experience in the legislature as a positive for his campaign, I question what he actually was able to accomplish during this session. His no-home-loans-for-illegal-immigrants bill didn't even make it out of committee in the Senate, and he was embarassingly shot down by pesky House rules when he later tried to sneak it in as an amendment to another bill. To his credit, however, I do believe his bill restricting the use of eminent domain was passed, and has proven to be quite popular. So, maybe this session was a wash for Dix. That being the case, the question is, is his past record in the statehouse (which is really all he has to run on) something worth boasting about? We'll let the campaigns and the voters sort that one out in the next two months.
Brian Kennedy is far behind Bill Dix in the money war, but claims that isn't the game he's playing anyway. Kennedy still has a respectable $165 in the bank, which is more than two of the Dems and the GOP's Mike Whalen. Taking this into account, as well as my comments about Dickinson's cash disadvantage, I also think Brian Kennedy is very much a contender.
This is where Krusty and I differ. He has dismissed Kennedy as a candidate because he didn't raise much last quarter. I think that it's the COH number that really matters in the final two months though, coupled with a good ground game. This is where Kennedy makes up lost ground on Bill Dix. From what I've seen (trying to bar all the propaganda from the Kennedy campaign on this issue), I do believe he is ahead in this respect. The problem for Kennedy is going to be how to make the most of the money he does have. He clearly can't fundraise like Bill Dix, and while he released a memo showing he and Whalen's willingness to combat Dix with their own funds, I don't think he can go checkbook to checkbook with Mike Whalen even if he wants to.
The key for Kennedy is going to be to convince people that the money really doesn't matter. I think he has a shot if he uses his money wisely and takes his grassroots movement to the next level in these last two months. I think the Dix and Whalen people really mock this approach, but what they are discounting is that this has been Kennedy's strategy since Day 1. Do you think Brian Kennedy is sitting around fretting because Bill Dix raised half a million dollars? I don't for one second. To him, his grassroots campaign is more than just feel-good Republican talk. He actually DOES it. To my knowledge, he is the only candidate of the six to go door to door so far, and I believe he started doing that last fall. I think it is also uncontested that he had the strongest show of support at the County Convention level too. Kennedy's supporters seem to be the most passionate about their candidate...The question to him is, are there enough of them to win? Also, to his advantave/detriment (only time will tell), he has cast himself as the leader on the immigration issue. How will this play in June?
Mike Whalen sits comfortably with $130K in the bank. While it is less than his two opponents, everyone knows he can change that with the stroke of a pen if he chooses. Because of this, he is the real wildcard in the race. On the finance issue, it is interesting to note how much cash candidate Whalen has blown through so far. While Dix and Kennedy have spent around $200K or less, Whalen has spent over $360,000. This has to absolutely be eating this guy up inside, because aside from a few polls he paid for, and A LOT of barnsigns, I am not sure what he really has to show for it. I think he is very much in the running, but I don't think he's "I've outspent Kennedy 2 to 1 in-the-running" unless he's got some secret up his sleeve that I can't discern from his FEC report.
Whalen does benefit, however, from a name ID advantage he's had from the beginning. Whalen has been a longstanding member of the business community in Iowa with his hotels and restaurants, and he knows a lot of people. The question for him is, "Do the people I know actually LIKE me?" I have heard some Mike Whalen horror stories. But, much as Kennedy's plan was never to win with big money, I don't think Whalen's plan was ever to win with true grassroots support. Whalen is into the raise-and-spend model of campaigning. Unfortunately for true conservatives, I'm scared that his plan may actually work for him.
Quick GOP summary: Dix has raised the most, but hasn't translated it into real support. However, most of his money still sits in his bank account, so how he spends it will be a deciding factor in this race. Kennedy is focusing on the party faithful, not worrying about his short-stacked situation. How he spends what he does have is going to be even more critical than with Dix, because he's got less of it, though, and he may be up against a wall if he has to wage a battle on two fronts. Whalen has unlimited funding if he chooses to exercise it, but I think he's losing favor quickly with true conservatives in the district. He needs to make up for that somehow if he's to win this race.
All candidates have strengths to showcase, and weaknesses to overcome between now and June 6th. Let the real fun begin!!!