Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reality Check

Politics is 90 percent bullshit and 10 percent cold, hard reality.

Reality comes in two varieties: money and vote totals.

We won't know the vote totals until November, but we can look at the money now.

Here is a list of selected races using the cash-on-hand measurement -- the amount of money a candidate had in his or her campaign treasury as of the latest date available.

For state races that date is June 5th. For federal races it is April 26th.

This is the money these candidates have available going into the summer months.

* = Incumbent

Race - Governor
Ed Rendell * (D) $13,786,783
Lynn Swann (R) $3,250,331
Note: Ratio 4-1. Rendell has $13.7 on hand, despite spending $1.86 million in a statewide TV buy in May-June. Swann not only must run against an incumbent, but against one of America's premier fundraisers.

Race - U.S. Senate
Rick Santorum * (R) $7,789,703
Bob Casey (D) $4,474,331
Note: Ratio 1.75-1. A clear advantage to the incumbent. It allows Santorum to go up on TV now and stay up through the fall to "decalcify" the race, as his campaign manager put it. An effective statewide buy costs about $800,000-$900,000 a week.

Race - U.S. House

6th District
Jim Gerlach * (R) $1,096,164
Lois Murphy (D) $ 961,622
Note: Ratio 1-1. Now you know why this is one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country, with Gerlach considered among the most vulnerable incumbents.

7th District
Curt Weldon * (R) $826,466
Joe Sestak (D) $436,455
Note: Ratio 2-1. A textbook case of the advantages of incumbency, with Weldon stepping up his fundraising effort in the face of a serious challenge. His seniority on the House Armed Services Committee helps.

8th District
Mike Fitzpatrick * (R) $1,383,023
Patrick Murphy (D) $ 341,409
Note: Ratio 4-1. Murphy must do better to remain competitive against this first-termer.

10th District
Don Sherwood * (R) $474,255
Chris Carney (D) $ 83,663
Note: Ratio 6-1. Sherwood is potentially vulnerable because of charges that he slapped around his mistress, but Carney needs to do better to take the "potentially" out of this sentence.

13th District
Allyson Schwartz * (D) $1,133,222
Raj Bhakta (R) $78,806
Note: Ratio 15-1. So much for the power of celebrity.


Anonymous phillydem said...

IMO, the 10th won't follow the $ script because the election there is a referendum on Sherwood's moral conduct, not his legislative accomplishments. I think it says a lot about how genuinely offended the voters of the 10th are about Sherwood having an affair that his primary opponent got 45% of the vote and spent less than $5000, if that.

1:56 PM  
Blogger rasphila said...

I think the money doesn't necessarily predict the Santorum/Casey race because of Santorum's recent antics and his association with a President whose ratings are so low they are below the tank. The main question is whether, if Santorum advertises on TV statewide as his finances will permit, anybody will believe him, or will viewers just tune out?

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Allyson Schwarz cares about the Democratic cause, she should generously give from her warchest to the Murphys, Sestak and Carney.

Her seat is safe, whereas their races are uphill - though winnable - battles.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous phillydem said...

Prior to this election cycle, Santorum pretty much flew under the radar. He was just another senator with no legislative accomplishments to his name. People like me who pay pretty close attention to politics knew how reactionary he was, but the average Pennsylvanian, really didn't. That's why his 2000 campaign ads portraying him as a moderate worked and he was able to edge Klink.

This cycle is entirely different. Santorum deliberately has been very visible and linked arm and arm with Bush. Now many more voters have seen the true Santorum and those ads he'll run claiming to a moderate won't be believed by nearly as many voters.

Plus, he's lost his base in the SW.
The cyberschool and residency flap really truly resonated with the people there and no ads are going to recover that.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain how the heck the GOP nominated Raj for the 13th? Didn't anyone on their City Committe or State Committee watch The Apprentice?

5:12 PM  
Anonymous CENTRIST said...

You don't think Lois Murphy's campaign is a targeted race by the DNC, do you?

Phillydem and Rasphila: your views are Philly views, confined to the city limits. You have little idea about what's going on in the "T". Come November, there will be an enormous bloodletting at the polls, but that will not include Santorum.

5:02 AM  
Blogger NE Suburbanite said...

The more I learn about Raj Bhakta (who's going to be running against incompetent -- OOPS! I mean incumbant Allyson Schwartz in the 13th U.S. Congressional District this November) the more I'm really impressed by the guy! And I think that in time the fact that Trump fired him in the 9th episode of The Apprentice will work in Raj's favor as more things come out about Trump. I compare it to how the Beatles snubbed Madam Marcos in the Philippines during their 1964 world tour, and after all the scandals came out about her later it really played well to the Beatles' favor.

Incidentally, Raj was at the July 12, 2006 Pennypack Park Concert and he came across as very charismatic with everyone. And when the lead singer of the Irish band performing that night shouted "Raj for Congress" right before performing a song, it was just so right on target. You should've heard them cheer! And you're hearing this from a died-in-the-wool Democrat, by the way. But that's just to show that everyone once they get acquainted more with him instantly recognizes that this man is a super up and comer. And by the time November rolls around I don't think Schwartz will stand a chance against him. It will be like the Beatles v. Arthur Godfrey.

2:29 AM  

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