Monday, April 13, 2009

Q1 Fundraising: Signs of Life from the Deeds Campaign?

The First-Quarter fundraising numbers have been released along with a Research 2000 poll, and it looks like there's great news for McAuliffe. T-Mac is in the lead with 2.5 million on hand, including 760,000 from in-state donors--that's more than either Creigh Deeds or Brian Moran. It's not a surprise that he's making it rain, but it is noteworthy that he's beating the two established in-staters in Old Dominion-based fundraising. Moran is behind McDonnell by one point, with McAuliffe only trailing McDonnell by five points. 

The question I want to ask is, "Where did Deeds come from?" Creigh now has $1.4 million in cash-on-hand compared to $825,000 for Brian Moran. In 44 days he has come away with more cash-on-hand than Moran produced in a full quarter of fundraising. Deeds took a lot of heat for hanging onto his seat and staying in session instead of campaigning full-time; the assumption was that Moran would absolutely smoke him in fundraising due to his full-time campaigning advantage, and I had all but written off the Deeds campaign. I saw Terry and Brian everywhere, with Creigh nowhere to be found. Between that and the GA fundraising hiatus, I thought it would either be McAuliffe or Moran carrying the party into November. 

But this gives me some pause. That amount of fundraising in that little time is no mean feat, especially in an economy as lousy as this one. If Deeds steps up the full-time campaign now that he's out of session--as his fundraising numbers indicate he should be able to do--this thing could turn into a three-way race again very quickly, especially since the poll found that 40% of Democrats are undecided in the primary. The flipside of that is that Deeds is furthest behind McDonnell--by 7%. Then again, Perriello was down 30 points to Goode in mid-August.

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