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Politics / politics

A Good-News Day for Democrats

In California, Democrat Janice Hahn beat Republican Craig Huey in a heated congressional special election(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

photo of Beth Reinhard
July 13, 2011

It’s a good day to be a Democrat.

President Obama’s reelection campaign announced early Wednesday that he raised $47 million in the past three months -- two-and-a-half times the $18.25 million haul by the front-running Republican, Mitt Romney, and more than all of the other GOP candidates combined.

(RELATED: Obama Campaign Raises $47 Million in Q2)

 

Obama’s bounty, combined with the $38 million collected by the Democratic National Committee, puts him in a strong position for the general election campaign.

Democrats also prevailed at the polls in two states on Tuesday. In California, Janice Hahn beat Republican Craig Huey in a heated congressional special election, ensuring that former Rep. Jane Harman’s seat would remain in Democratic hands. And in Wisconsin, all six Democrats defeated GOP “protest candidates’’ to advance to August 9 showdowns against Republican state senators in the Badger State's recall elections. The GOP ran the candidates in an effort to buy more time for their incumbent senators facing recalls.

(RELATED: Hahn Wins CA-36 Special Election)

Obama’s winning fundraising report and the election outcomes were all expected but nevertheless welcomed by Democratic Party leaders.

Meantime, the Republican National Committee on Tuesday launched its second television ad of the 2012 campaign in four battleground states Obama won in 2008: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. The president’s slipping poll numbers in those states, along with GOP victories in 2010, suggest he is vulnerable, according to the RNC. The commercial juxtaposes footage from Obama’s speech at the 2008 nominating convention with dismal economic statistics. The kicker: “Change direction.’’

(PROFILE: Who is Janice Hahn?)

An RNC spokeswoman declined to give the cost of the ad but described it as a "light buy.''

In a telephone call with reporters, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Obviously the president is pretty good at chasing down fat-cat donors.... What he’s not good at is fixing this economy and putting policies in place to create jobs in America.’’ He added, “I think there’s going to be plenty of time on our side of the aisle to accumulate funds.’’

The DNC quickly responded to the new ad. “No one should be surprised that a Republican Party run by a chairman who just this week said it would ‘not be the end of the world’ if the nation were to default on its debt for the first time would rather run negative ads than work to find solutions to get our fiscal house in order and create jobs,” said spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

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