Last night was the deadline to report end of year financial figures for candidates for the US House of Representives, which combined with recent developments offer some surprises in Va-10 and Va-11.
The fundraising pace continued at a torrid pace in the Tenth, where Congressman Wolf surged ahead of Judy Feder in cash on hand and brought the heat in his quarterly effort. As of today’s reports:
Tenth District: Q4 2007 On hand Liabilities Net
Congressman Frank Wolf $392,516.00 $555,250.94 (No liabilities) $555,250.94
Judy Feder $241,458.08 $483,002.91 (No liabilities) $483,002.91
Each has an announced primary opponent, but Democrat Mike Turner has a net of $12,904.47 in the bank and Republican Vernon McKinley-who for some reason does not have an electronic report that is easily found-has less than $3K net (both have loans in place), so we will not get into details.
Meanwhile, life continued apace in the Eleventh, where Fimian carries big totals and liabilities, Davis has a big roll leftover, and the Democrats are yet to pound out the dollars.
Eleventh District: Q4 2007 On hand Liabilities Net
Congressman Tom Davis $197,444.58 $305,189.54 (No liabilities) $305,189.54
Keith Fimian $126,076.00 $656,191.75 [-$327,000.00] $329,191.75
Leslie Byrne $115,398.01 $103,911.95 (No liabilities) $103,911.95
Doug Denneny $19,460.98 $13,917.07 (No liabilities) $13,917.07
Gerry Connolly [No report…rumored $161,000.00 in bank for this race]
—I apologize for the less than orderly columns…still don’t have the hang of doing that in WordPress—
Yes, I know there is a Va-8, but I am willing to guess that seat will stay democrat in 2008…so I left them off.
What caught my eye?
First I noticed the net of Keith Fimian in Va-11. While his fundraising skills are highly touted, the fact remains that his net is half as much as his cash on hand, and no one seems to be talking about the more than quarter of a million dollar liability he is carrying. Just how good a fundraiser will he prove out to be? If he is able to self finance, OK…but remember (as James Socas learned) there is a millionaire’s amendment, so he best be careful.
Tom Davis, while pouring money into JMDD campaign, still has a sizeable amount in the bank. I imagine no small part of it will find its way back into the Va-11 campaign.
I assume that with Davis out of the way and Va-11 an open seat the DCCC will declare this a targeted seat and whoever gets the nomination will have massively adequate fundraising…but I am guessing LB3 and Gerry C will have to raise at least another $100,000.00 each to be competitive, and likely more. As for Denneny, I don’t see how he doesn’t get washed out by a wave of greenbacks.
Question: How debilitating and cost will the Democratic primary be? If it gets nasty, and large $$ has to be spent, then the $$ edge the GOP can generate by getting behind a candidate early could be significant.
Meanwhile, over in the 10th, I have a hunch Ms. Feder is about to be a victim of her own fundraising success.
Now, Lowell will likely draft one of his Federian spin pieces regardless of what I say at this point. However, we all know the basics. Feder stayed even with Congressman Wolf in 2006 and got whacked by 16 points in a democratic year. We all know about incumbency, constituent services, the district boundaries. Also in 2006 Ms. Feder got added onto target campaign lists due to some polling that ultimately missed the mark.
Now in 2008 she has again constructed a good fundraising operation. However, there is now an open seat in Va-11 that will likely be the marquee race in Virginia.
And if that is not enough, there is the small matter of Va-2, where Glenn Nye will run against GOP incumbent Thelma Drake. Drake won narrowly against Phil Kellam in 2006 despite massively out-raising him.
Question: What will be more attractive to democratic contributors? Give money to take an open seat, to defeat a weak incumbent, or to a candidate who has already lost-and by a sizeable margin? Will they look at the ease with which she has raised money to the moment, and decide she doesn’t need their help and that their dollars will have more of a bang elsewhere?
I don’t know on either count, but it sure does make for interesting prognosticating…because asking the question is always easier than knowing the definitive answer.
We shall see!