Two ways of looking at the “money race”

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

One of the things that really irritates me is how the political parties like to compare their fundraising to one another and thump their chest to loudly proclaim how they are doing so much better than the other party at fundraising. The Arizona Democratic Party routinely does this at each quarterly state committee meeting.

State and county party political contributions are only a portion of total political contributions in any election cycle. The amounts are largely meaningless and can lead to donor complacency.

The Arizona Daily Star reported the other day that Dems lead fundraising by wide margin:

The Pima County Democratic Party continues to crush its Republican counterparts in the race for money.

The Democrats collected more than $141,000 in the reporting period covering early January to late May, leaving them with $24,500 on hand.

* * *

The disparity also shows up at the state level, with state Democrats raking in about $625,000 this period, compared with the $393,000 collected by the state Republican Party.

Republicans, meanwhile, collected slightly more than $27,200 and had roughly $4,800 left.

Really? So what was the point of this article? To lull Democrats into complacency?

If you really want to know where things stand in the "money race" you need to go to the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org). Arizona | OpenSecrets:

   Arizona
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The "rank" column to the right lets you see how Arizona compares to all 50 states. A rank of 15 in the "Percent to Democrats" category, for example, means that state's percentage of contributions to Democrats was the 15th highest in the nation.

† This figure includes PAC contributions to candidates, individual contributions ($200+) to candidates and parties, and soft money contributions to parties. To avoid double-counting, it does not include individual contributions to PACs.

* This figure includes individual contributions to candidates, PACs and party committees.

All the numbers on this page are based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on June 13, 2010.

Whoah! That paints a whole different picture now, doesn't it? The current numbers are Republicans 61.9% to the Democrats paltry 38.1% of total political contributions in Arizona. Now you know why, despite the Arizona Democratic Party consistently out-fundraising the Arizona Republican Party, Arizona has a Republican-dominated state government. Money talks. Just ask the Roberts Court.

Now, it is true that you can help Democratic candidates by contributing directly to the Arizona Democratic Party and to the Pima County Democratic Party. The parties are able to spend money on the coordinated campaign for the benefit of Democratic candidates in ways that the candidates themselves and other campaign committees cannot. So if you want to help Democrats to get elected this fall, give generously to the Arizona and Pima County Democratic Party. You can make a difference.

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