CD8 Analysis

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With only two weeks left to go before the important June 30 FEC cutoff, things are at a fever pitch in the federal races, particularly  CD8. So it is very timely - and appreciated - that the National Journal has undertaken to assess the CD8 race, with a particular focus on fundraising.

Eyeing a district where 62 percent of voters favored President Obama in 2012, five well-credentialed candidates have already jumped in hoping to make a safe House seat their own. With the field expected to expand, it appears that candidates’ highest hurdle to getting the seat won’t be beating a Republican opponent in the general election, but rather surviving a crowded field in the Democratic primary.

And there, with little policy daylight separating the contenders, the ability to rack up campaign cash will go a long way toward picking the winner.

Democrats suggest it will take at least $1 million to mount a viable primary campaign, with some pegging the figure as high as $3 million. By contrast, successful House candidates spent an average total (primary and general election combined) of $1.45 million in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Without a doubt, this will be a very, very expensive primary. And while money will not dictate the winner, money may dictate who’s the most competitive,” said former Van Hollen chief of staff C.R. Wooters. (Wooters isn’t backing anyone in the race and was not speaking on Van Hollen’s behalf.)

My own opinion is that $1 million won’t get you very far in this expensive media market. $3 million would be nice but I don’t think it is a necessity. $2-2.5 million is the range to shoot for, to allow for a good mix of TV and direct mail outreach.

There are things I don’t agree with about the article, like granting Kathleen Matthews instant front-runner status while discounting Kumar Barve as a niche Indian candidate. Yesterday’s Barve endorsement announcement certainly casts doubt on that characterization.

But NJ is right about this much: this race is going to be defined by money and the ability to raise it. The next two weeks are going to define perceptions about money, and a poor second quarter report could well damage a campaign quite badly.

The minions and I will be watching closely here at Rumor Central, trying to get a jump on the numbers and analyzing them as they become available. You won’t want to miss a minute of the action.

0 thoughts on “CD8 Analysis

  1. Joshua Phoebus

    Of course Wooters is backing Van Hollen. He may not be doing it publicly, but to put that in a post, even if you had to, got a well-deserved eye roll.

    Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:38:42 +0000 To: [email protected]


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