Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kay and Rick take donors from each other...

People keep writing stories and headlines about Kay taking Rick's donors, but Gardner has one of the most comprehensive to date (link). Excerpt follows...

Kay Bailey Hutchison, gearing up to run against Gov. Rick Perry next year, has chipped into Perry's rich donor base, taking in 21 percent of $6.7 million she raised from December through June from 35 of Perry's historically staunchest backers, a review shows.

All told, the big benefactors — most of whom previously gave to Hutchison's Senate campaigns — accounted for nearly $3.8 million of about $27.6 million Perry raised from givers of $25,000 or more from 2003 through 2008.

3.8 out of 27.6 means that 13.7 percent of Rick's big dollars went to Kay... and "most" according to Gardner had a history with Kay already... that seems pretty low really. Am I reading that wrong? The 21% number also seems way too low to warrant the headlines about Kay taking so many of Rick's donors. I would almost expect it to be closer to 50/50, since almost all of the donors gave to both candidates in the past.

This part was interesting as well...

But Perry, who raised $4.2 million in the nine June days that donors were permitted to give to state officeholders, retained a strong stake in high-dollar donors. They included individuals who have given to Hutchison's past campaigns and might be expected to consider her over him.

More than 40 previous donors to Hutchison's Senate campaigns stuck with Perry for governor in June; they'd given more than $5 million to his campaigns from 2003 through 2008, compared to less than $180,000 to hers since 1993. The gulf partly reflects that there are legal limits on donations to candidates for federal office but no caps for those aspiring to state offices in Texas..

Five big donors to Hutchison (including Houston Texans' owner Bob McNair) also gave to Perry, perhaps hedging or demonstrating fondness for both. For many Republicans, even discussing donations to the political powerhouses can prove ticklish.

Centerville rancher-businessman Richard Wallrath gave $10,000 to Hutchison and $12,500 to Perry, whom he gave nearly $160,000 from 2003 through 2008.

"Both these people are my friends, OK?" Wallrath said.

Rick took 40 huge donors from Kay, Kay took 35 huge donors from Rick. 5 huge donors gave to both. Is that what this article is saying?

Someone really needs to graph this out and show it visually. It is not an apples to apples comparision in terms of straight dollars, because federal candidates are capped while state candidates can take big checks.

This is all not very informative without that sort of visual. How many on each side got brand new donors? How many gave to only Rick in the past but now only gave to Kay? How many only gave to Kay in the past but only gave to Rick this time? How many people gave to both in the past but now chose only one side? To me it seems pretty normal for people to saddle up on one side or the other.

I would also love to see when some of the biggest checks came in chronologically speaking... did Kay's drop in the polls do anything to her fundraising... either spurring people to give more to boost her at the end, or causing people to drop off... or did she gradually receive large checks over the entire six month period? The reason why I ask is because I think if candidates had to disclose their campaign cash on a weekly basis it might have helped Kay... she would have had this relentless flow of cash coming in while Rick could not raise money... it would have created more of a bandwagon effect.

These paragraphs are also interesting...

Perry's campaign noted that nearly 60 of his donors doubled their previous contributions to him, arguably an indication of intensified support.

And as of July, most of Perry's traditionally most generous donors — more than 300 individuals or groups that have given $25,000 or more since 2003 — hadn't written a check to Hutchison for governor.

300 worth upwards of 7.5 million may still be up for grabs. Knowing nothing about them, I would just guesstimate that a large number will probably sit out the entire time, and maybe only 100 are truly up for grabs... maybe 2 or 3 million dollars worth of cash.

To me these numbers just show that both campaigns are going to have a lot of money to spend on negative ads against each other. If Kay had gotten 12 or 15 million dollars like her finance chair had predicted back in December, it would have meant something and might have made the impact she needed. If Rick had only raised a million or two in 9 days, it would have meant something and would have deflated his hopes. Rick raising 4.2 million in 9 days and Kay raising 6.7 million in 6 months does not mean all that much, other than Rick slightly outperformed expectations and Kay underperformed slightly.

Rick taking 40 high dollar Kay donors, Kay taking 35 high dollar Rick donors, and 5 of the high dollar donors still donating to both, does not strike me as out of the ordinary. Dogs bite men...

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