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Playing the Fundraising Expectations Game in Michigan Playing the Fundraising Expectations Game in Michigan

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Playing the Fundraising Expectations Game in Michigan

Updated at 10:24 a.m.

When former Rep. Pete Hoekstra's, R-Mich., third quarter fundraising numbers came in, I wrote about how the Hoekstra campaign effectively navigated the expectations game leading up to the release of his impressive seven-figure sum. His campaign is at it again, releasing a strategy memo on Tuesday reaffirming a $500,000 fundraising goal for the upcoming quarter, a lowball figure that is likely to be easily surpassed.

"We set a goal of raising $500k per quarter for the 3rd and 4th quarters in 2011 and hit it out of the park in the 3rd quarter by raising over $1 million. We hope to once again surpass our $500,000 4th quarter goal, recognizing that expectations are higher than they were last quarter," John Yob, Fred Davis and Ed Goeas write.

Translation: We're once again going to raise more than $500,000. And not just barely more, either.

The biggest question mark for Hoekstra heading into the Senate race was whether given his fundraising struggles in past campaigns, he would be able to bring in the cash necessary to compete with Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and the Republican field. Last quarter, he initially set the bar at $500,000. Opponents seized on a subsequent memo indicating a goal of $400,000-$500,000, charging that the campaign was lowering expectations. After dialing it down, Hoekstra brought in an impressive $1 million+.

"What a joke. All the reports from Michigan is that Tea Party activists hate this guy and this is the best spin he can come up with?" said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Shripal Shah.

Cornerstone Schools co-founder Clark Durant, Hoekstra's main Republican opponent, hauled in a much more than satisfactory $750,000 in the third quarter. His fourth quarter number will reveal whether or not that was a flash in pan.

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