Conventional wisdom has it that the continued hostilities between to remaining Democratic presidential candidates is doing Republican presumptive nominee John McCain (R-AZ) a world of good. But it doesn’t seem to be translating to the cash wars, nor to the battle for Congress.
According to CQPolitics, in February Barack Obama (D-IL) continued to lead the way among the three remaining presidential candidates, pulling in 56.8M. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) February efforts would normally be considered exceptional, but her 35.8M in collections made her a distant #2 in the cash wars. McCain was far arrears of both, with 11.6M raised during the month.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee picked up 6.2M, spent 3.7M and has 38M on hand. It is solidly ahead of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which pulled in 4.6M, spent 5.1M and has only 5.1M on hand.
Although the gap is much smaller, this situation is mirrored in the Senate, where the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pulled in 4.8M, spent 2.5M and has 32.8M on hand. That compares to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which collected 3.9M, spent 1.9M and has 15.2M on hand.
RBR/TVBR observation: If you need further handwriting on the wall to the effect that this is stacking up as a tough year to be a Republican, take Montana, as red as any red state for quite some time. Normally, this would automatically make Max Baucus (D-MT) a target. Sure, he’s popular enough to have held his seat since 1978, but a strong candidate with national support who makes a strong case to essentially Republican voters that Baucus may be costing committee chairs would stand a chance of unhorsing him. But the Democrats managed to squeak out a Senate win in 2006 against the crippled candidacy of Conrad Burns (R-MT), sending Jon Tester (D-MT) to Washington, and according to CQ Politics, the Republicans have failed to come up with a serious challenger for Baucus’ seat. This cannot be read as a good indicator for Republican efforts to retake the Senate if they cannot effectively compete in a state that gave George W. Bush 59% of the vote in 2004.