What’s sticking out in the flood of fundraising numbers coming out this month? The Hotline found plenty to buy and sell in these reports:
— Senate. The most glaring fundraising disparity of the quarter was in North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan‘s (D) $3.6 million far outpaced the $1.6 million Thom Tillis raised, as the state House speaker toils in an extended special legislative session. The other EMILY’s List nominees in Georgia and Kentucky raised about as much or more. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) outraised Sen. Mark Pryor (D) again, and state Sen. Joni Ernst‘s (R) quarter in Iowa was important considering her previous fundraising struggles — but even though she bested Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), she still has catching up to do in cash on hand.
— House. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) ($742,000) and challenger Andrew Romanoff (D) ($842,000) are both winners: They’re keeping pace with each other and might be the best-equipped opponents out there to define themselves in outside spending-dominated House races. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s (D-FL) continued strong fundraising ($752,000) has helped keep his race quiet, while Rep. Chris Gibson‘s (R-NY) $819,000 quarter was especially important given Sean Eldridge‘s (D) self-funding ability. But further south in New York, Rep. Michael Grimm‘s (R) paltry $71,000 means he might run out of money quickly in the fall — when outside help might not be there, either.
— Governors. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who raised $8.2 million from January through June, is a sound stand-in for the ranks of incumbent guvs vastly outraising their competition. (Mary Burke (D) raised $3.6 million and trails Walker in cash 3-to-1.) Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D) was one of the few to buck the trend. But in Massachusetts, favorite Martha Coakley‘s (D) efforts have been underwhelming, both compared to Democratic rivals and especially to Charlie Baker (R).
Candidate fundraising doesn’t mean what it used to, but it’s still important — and more than a few candidates have something to celebrate or mourn in the recent reports.
— Hotline Staff
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.