One month ago I wrote about the upcoming McCain visit to Albuquerque and how it might be a test of enthusiasm for the candidate (June 17, 2008–Upcoming McCain Event Will Test Appeal to Indies, Conservative Democrats and GOP Base’s Enthusiasm).
There have been many reports and blog commentaries about the event itself, but I was curious to see how McCain fared in terms of monetary support. Apparently, there is cash flowing here in New Mexico among the Republican money base.
According to blogger Joe Monohan,
Numbers were still being added up for that ABQ McCain fundraiser held at the Hilton Inn Monday night but Ken Zangara, McCain’s NM finance director, pronounced the evening “great,” saying about 200 of the state’s top R’s were in attendance. The cheap seats were going for $1,000 a pop.
When we blogged the upcoming fundraiser last month, we speculated that with a shaky economy and the Republican base generally unenthusiastic, Zangara would have his work cut out for him. He seemed to think he had succeeded. KOAT-TV was reporting the take may have been as high as $400,000, with some of the money going to the state GOP. Apparently high gas and low stock prices aren’t yet hurting the GOP upper crust. At the dinner they dined on steak and shrimp.
Among those on hand at the McCain party: GOP US Senate nominee Steve Pearce, ABQ GOP US Rep. Heather Wilson, Northern GOP congressional candidate Dan East and former ABQ GOP US Rep. Manuel Lujan. Also spotted in the crowd was former Colorado GOP US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
McCain seems to being have more luck with raising cash than some of the downticket GOP candidates.
Republican Steve Pearce is way behind Tom Udall in terms of fundraising, according to Monohan. He reports that Udall has $2.88 million “stockpiled” and that Pearce is considering tapping his own fortune to the tune of $1 million to narrow the gap. Heath Haussamen reports that Pearce pulled in $1.2 million during the last quarter, but had to spend a lot of it during the primary against Heather Wilson. He has $531, 000 on had.
Democrat Martin Heinrich, who is running against Darren White in the CD-1 race (Albuquerque Congressional seat), has more money than his GOP rival, but is spending more. White has about $300,000 more cash on hand than Heinrich but is well behind in total fundraising compared to what Heather Wilson took in in 2006. And spite of his strong fundraising numbers, Heinrich still has less in the bank that Patricia Madrid had back in 2006. The DCCC is reportedly ready to spend over $1 million dollars in TV ads for Heinrich will give him a further boost. Monohan also reports that on Friday, July 18, Heinrich will be holding a private fundraiser which will be limited to 10 guests paying $1,000 a plate for the breakfast meeting which will reportedly featur House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who is the third ranking House member.
Clyburn, as you may recall, told Bill Clinton to “chill out” after Clinton brought up Jesse Jackson following Obama’s South Carolina primary win.
Meanwhile, in my district CD-2 in Southern New Mexico, Harry Teague has outraised his GOP opponent Ed Tinsley over the last quarter by about $65,000. According to Monohan, “The DCCC says it will come up with $1.2 million in TV for Harry of Hobbs, but that commitment may be more dependent on polls than the national money for Heinrich’s effort.” Heath Haussman reports that the DCCC “has reserved $1.2 million in advertising time for the 2nd Congressional District race.” We shall see. Last week Bill Richardson was down in Las Cruces for a fundraising event for Teague. (For more on Teague, see my 6/22/08 post, DCCC Money Now in NM-CD2 for Richardson’s Guy HarryTeague…Where Were They When the Progressive Ran Last Time?? (The One Who Got 40% of the Vote, Then Was Shoved out of the Dem Primary the Race in 2008?)
Believe it or not, early voting starts in New Mexico in only 90 days! I’m not a big fan of early voting because in politics, things can change awfully fast. And we’re seeing now how many cases of “buyer’s remorse” are showing up among (former) Obama supporters.
By the way, I received a call from a Democratic Party fundraiser tonight, my first. After hearing her rattle on, I stopped her just as she started asking me for $100. I politely informed her that I was no longer a registered Democrat and that I wasn’t voting for Obama if he became the nominee after what went on during the primary season. I would not donate another penny to the Democratic Party. I commented that she had probably heard this before and it sounded as if she was about to start a scripted response to what I had said. So, I told her I just wasn’t interested and hung up…politely.