Campaign Quick Hits
We’ve got the FEC numbers for candidates raising “hard dollars” between January 1 and March 31. Hard dollars refers to money that is raised under the federal contribution limits, and it means we’re only looking at federal officeholders at this point. Even so, you start to see the vague shape of a 2024 race and what types of candidates GOP donors are putting their money behind. (Spoiler Alert: They still like Trump!)
To me, the most interesting number up there is the Liz Cheney one. Yep, she raised a lot. But she ended the quarter with less money than she raised. Why? Either she had to spend a lot to raise that amount, or she is already spending real money even though the primary isn’t until August of next year. More likely the answer is both, and that’s even worse. She’ll win her seat again, I predict, but it’s hard to miss what it says about the direction of the party.
Of Candidate Recruitment and Reverse Coattails
We’ve discussed congressional candidate recruitment in this newsletter before. The process is often a dance between party leaders (both local and national) and wannabe candidates. The candidate seeks to prove her prowess at wooing donors and local party activists. Party leadership works to convince her that the race is worth her time and that she can win. But what if she can’t? What happens in districts that are for all intents and purposes unwinnable?
In the past, party leadership didn’t spend much time in those districts, so they didn’t really care who ran under the party’s banner as long as it wasn’t someone who embarrassed the party’s brand nationally. Some districts wouldn’t recruit anyone at all.