Election 2008

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Frank Franklin II/AP

Ad Cuts Might Not Be Hurting Some Republicans

September 12, 2008 10:45 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
Even though the Republican National Committee has cut funding to some candidates’ campaigns, one Senate contender doesn't seem to be too seriously affected.

Campaign Fundraising Sags

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Fundraising efforts for the Republican Party have been tough this year, and Republicans running for office in Colorado and New Mexico are paying part of that price. National party leaders recently announced that they’re spending less money to help the Senate candidates in both states.

The Republicans’ independent expenditure committee canceled several ads it purchased for Colorado, reducing expenses from $4.8 million to $3.6 million. Democrats are spending $4.2 million. In July, the Republican Senate committee had $25 million versus the Democrats’ $42 million.

Taylor Shelton of the blog Red, Green, and Blue wrote that for Senate candidate Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Republicans "have taken all steps in conceding the race, short of actually pulling their candidate." However, a new Rasmussen poll shows that Pearce may not be suffering from the decision, according to KOB-TV. Pearce has narrowed the 28-point lead Democratic challenger Tom Udall once had, to garner 44 percent of voter support. Udall stands at 51 percent, but KOB-TV called that "well within striking distance" for Pearce.

Nationwide, Republican incumbents face more highly contested races than the Democratic party. Nevada Sen. John Ensign issued a statement saying, “I recently challenged my colleagues to step up to the plate and help me provide the resources our candidates need to compete in races across the country. … It has become clear that my call has gone largely unanswered.”

Republicans are behind Democrats in fundraising for the presidential race, too. Last month, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama raised $51 million, compared to $27 million for John McCain. Though these results mark the fifth consecutive month in which McCain recorded an increase in campaign contributions.
In June 2008, Obama announced that he did not plan to use public funding for his campaign. By not accepting public funds, he gave himself the opportunity to raise as much money as possible through private donations.

Reference: The Color of Money

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