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Today’s numbers

Monday, Jul 7, 2014

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The party led by a wealthy financier is starting the summer campaign season at a nearly 2-to-1 fundraising disadvantage.

Fueled by unlimited contributions in the governor’s race, Democrats and Republicans combined have about twice as much money as they had four years ago, according to a Crain’s analysis of financial reports by almost four dozen key political organizations and candidates. But as the party in power, Democrats now have about $26.9 million, or almost double Republicans’ cash.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has roughly $8.5 million on hand, thanks to a recent $2.5 million donation from hedge-fund executive Ken Griffin, but still trails Gov. Pat Quinn, with almost $10 million. Fundraising caps on that race were removed because of the nearly $6.6 million Mr. Rauner has given to his own campaign, much of which was spent during the primary.

Factor out that race, and Democratic candidates and political organizations statewide have $2.72 on hand for every $1 held by Republicans, Crain’s finds.

Yeah, but Rauner recently gave the state GOP $500,000 and more is surely on the way.

…Adding… As YDD notes in comments, it’s highly doubtful that Lisa Madigan will be spending much of her own cash horde. Some of that Dem “advantage” is not really an advantage.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Quinn had a huge cushion in COH on April 1, and looks like Rauner’s already staged to blow by him. Not surprising.

  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Yes, Rich, and I don’t expect Lisa Madigan will be spending $4.9 million this time around, either.

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    That’s a lot of money to buy a lot of chicken suits on both sides. Not to mention plenty of negative ads, since neither have much innovative or positive to offer.

    Quinn’s best feature is that his term is almost up. Rauner’s best feature is that he isn’t Quinn.

  4. - phocion - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    This data kinda destroys the carefully nurtured narrative about those evil rich Republicans trying to buy elections.

  5. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    If you still watch television - you better turn it off. THE AD SEASON is about to begin.

  6. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Gubernatorially phocion, I’d say it strengthens it. Particularly when you consider Rauner’s massive self funding, which broke the contribution caps. Quinn is almost all cash on hand. Rauner has been doing gangbusters since April.

  7. - oyvah today - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    [This person has been banned for life.]

  8. - CirularFiringSquad - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    And as the article mentioned the accounting does not include all the dark money being spent against D’s, spending by GOPie shadow orgs ( i.e. ReBoot, IPI, BGA, etc.)

    Most still waiting for media to press Mitt Rauner on the dark money spending that ran Congressman Shock out of the race.

  9. - Brendan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    The quote about Quinn’s nearly $10 million on hand and Rauner’s almost $8.5 million on hand don’t jibe with the chart.

    Based on the chart, those figures should be comparative totals raised, and the cash on hand for Quinn should be dwarfing Rauner’s.

    Either the quote is wrong or the chart is inaccurate/poorly executed.

    Just saying…

  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Rauner won’t have any problem outspending Quinn.

    But some of the other GOP funds are indicative of what happens when you let your party apparatus wilt on the vine

  11. - Timmeh - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    It’s not about the cash on hand; it’s about how much they’re going to spend.

  12. - DuPage - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rauner has enough money he could buy up enough air time to limit Quinn’s ability to run ads.

  13. - modest proposal - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    I disagree with YDD - Money is money. Its better to have it than to not have it. If Lisa wasn’t as good of a fundraiser then maybe her opponent would be better financed. Just because the money isn’t spent, doesn’t nullify its existence.

  14. - Paul Merrion - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Brendan: The dark colors in the lines for Quinn and Rauner show cash on hand as of March 31; the lighter colors show the amount raised since then. As the story notes, the figures don’t account for expenditures since March 31 or contributions smaller than $1,000.

  15. - train111 - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    So how is the average person to relate?

    I go to work every day, pay my taxes, try to be a good provider for my family and a good citizen but have to sit here and listen to the “Dipocrats” and “Redumblicans” spend gobs and gobs of money that I can’t dream of ever seeing on attack adds that poison the political atomosphere, all the while not having “Clue One” about what they are going to actually do if they are elected.
    No wonder Americans are so pessimistic!!!
    What’s the point?

  16. - John Galt - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    PC: It only strengthens it if you take one narrow view to look at it and ignore the inconvenient data. If you take the overall picture–the AG race, Secretary of State, legislative PACs, the Dems have had the GOP licked in the fundraising game in Illinois for years. The broader view speaks of overall health of the state parties.

    And there are the private super PACs or “dark” money as CFS claims for the GOP (although I’d hardly call Andy Shaw a shill for the GOP), but we also aren’t including stuff that goes overwhelmingly to the D column–money and volunteer hours provided by labor unions. And at least federally, for every Koch brother, there’s a George Soros.

    Let’s not kid ourselves here. The Democratic Party in Illinois is not the scrappy little upstart–the little guy fighting against the mean old rich guy. They ARE the 800lb gorilla in the state.

    If you’re a died in the wool liberal or Democrat, that’s nothing to run away from. The spin you should be spinning is: “donations and campaign resources is simply a reflection that our platform and message resonates with the people of Illinois–and the fact that we are beating the GOP in that game also reflects that our vision for Illinois is superior in the eyes of the citizenry.”

    That’s the spin you go with–not to deny that the Democratic Party doesn’t have a resource advantage up and down the ballot.

  17. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    What? Republican having less money to spend on campaigns than Democrats? About time someone exploded the myth of Republican money machines vs. poor poverty stricken stone cold broke Hillary Clinton types of Democrats who claim not to have a penny in their campaign funds. Democrats have been outspending Republicans for years and few have noticed. Add the “dark” money spent by both sides and Democrats still have the edge. Ask Emmanuel about his new PAC that was formed last week and instantly was funded to the tune of $! million.

  18. - John Galt - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    RE: Lisa Madigan’s war chest–in people’s experience, at what point does it make sense to start spending money in a war chest on behalf of other candidates? I see the logic in building up a nice emergency reserve for oneself. But if somebody is ambitious and wants to have influence beyond just their own elected office, what’s the tipping point at which it makes sense for a Lisa Madigan type to start cutting five-figure checks to other people?

  19. - John Galt - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    **I really wish this website had a edit function**

    1) Dyed in the wool.
    2) Are simply a reflection
    3) Not to deny that the Democratic Party has a resource advantage…


  20. - John Galt - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    4) An edit function.

    I need some more coffee.

  21. - Team Sleep - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    YDD and Modest are both correct. Lisa is not likely to parse out much of her war chest, but that same war chest that she hordes certainly helps keep potential serious challengers (or at least big-time self-funders) at bay.

  22. - Try-4-Truth - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===== - oyvah today - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    I did not vote for the tard in office.=====

    Highly offensive. Please go away and never do that again.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Money raised is always a good to look at. This cycle maybe more about money “spent” than money raised.

    When Rauner can drop $500K to the state party at any moment, and Bruce can dial up any number of supporters and get $100K after hanging up. Rauner raises cash by the boatload. Raises. Not just his own.

    These charts and numbers are great for discussion, but the real measurement will be money spent.


    Raising … this cycle is not met with your usual hurdles. Different ball game this time.

  24. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Democrats do not have a dark money edge Louis. Other than that, campaign finance is pretty even in contributions that are trackable. The presidential campaigns in 2012 were basically even.

    “Conservative political nonprofits spent almost five times as much as liberal ones in 2012, according to Open Secrets data. So far in 2014, they have spent almost twice as much” (Politifact). The RNC has also been outraising the DNC since January 2013, although DSCC and DCCC have been doing better than their GOP counterparts this year. House GOP candidates are also outraising Democratic candidates this cycle on a per candidate basis by about 25k.

  25. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==- train111 - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:33 pm:==

    Galt, there’s a reason I said “gubernatorially,” because I was focusing specifically on the gubernatorial race. Other than that, I would agree with most of what you wrote. One reason Dems kick tail in Illinois is entrenched incumbency advantages. Why donate to GOPers who are never in office?

  26. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    the most significant number I see by far is dollars raised since the primary in the gov’s race

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I believe the AG raised a big chunk of that change when folks thought she was running against Quinn for governor.

    Lisa doesn’t play powerbroker with her campaign fund. If she wants to help a candidate, she can best help by sending her volunteers. Her vols are the highest caliber in the state.

  28. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    –I believe the AG raised a big chunk of that change when folks thought she was running against Quinn for governor.–

    Jokes on them.

    I’m sure her volunteers are top-notch, but I imagine there are some Dems who would accept some of that cheddar she hoovered up while giving every indication she was running for governor.

    Nobody was dishing out that cash for another AG run.

  29. - John Galt - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    “Nobody was dishing out that cash for another AG run.”

    Agreed, and that goes for volunteers gearing up for runs as well. To what extent do pols like Lisa Madigan burn their would-be supporters when they don’t follow through? I’m sure the die hards don’t care about spending time or money on a phantom project. But on the margins, you’d think it’d tick people off, no?

    Either that money or volunteer time could be spent on more worthy pursuits like family, business, or leisure activities, or at least on another political project that actually moves forward…

  30. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    “Democratic-aligned super PACs entered the election year with a more than 2-to-1 fundraising advantage over increasingly fractured Republican groups, a USA TODAY analysis shows.”

  31. - modest proposal - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 6:03 pm:

    Team Sleep - I think I can agree on your analysis which combines mine and YDD’s thoughts.

  32. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    Potential challengers stay at bay because she is Lisa Madigan.

    The GOP does not want Lisa Madigan to have a serious opponent.

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