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Edwards may be first Q2 fundraising casualty

Maybe the "other America" poor people John Edwards targets are short of cash. Maybe Democrats are tired of giving money to a guy who spends it on haircuts and spa treatments. For whatever reason, the money isn't coming in to the Edwards campaign, reports Patrick Ruffini at Hugh Hewitt's Townhall blog:

From a Joe Trippi email:

This is it-- with 10 days left in the second quarter, we're about two-thirds of the way towards our goal of raising $9 million--double what we raised at this time in the 2004 race. And I know what you're thinking--my $25 doesn't matter for a hill of beans against all those four-figure checks rolling in to the campaigns.

Read the whole post at the link above. As Patrick notes, 2/3 of $9 mil is only $6 million raised for the quarter, which ends in nine days. As recently as 2004, that would have been a respectable number, but in this cycle it is the sort of pocket change only a second-tier candidate could accept. With Hillary and Obama both projected to raise at or over $25 million AGAIN in the 2nd quarter, this could spell the effective end of the Edwards campaign. If they have been careful with their money - watch those haircuts, John, the tips alone will kill ya! - they may be able to continue, but no one can take them seriously any longer.

You can survive low poll numbers with great fundraising. You can survive weak fundraising with great poll numbers. You cannot survive low polls and weak fundraising with great haircuts alone.

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Comments (5)

I've read elsewhere that Ed... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

I've read elsewhere that Edwards is cutting back on spending, or at least choosing less expensive options, but I wouldn't be surprised if the end of the fundraising period is when a lot people finally write the check -- you know, help "push us over the top" and all that rot.

It's common in fundraising to have the big money step in at the end and help reach the goal. Not sure that'll happen here, but I wouldn't take "2/3rds at 9 days" as proof of anything either.

It may not be "proof of any... (Below threshold)

It may not be "proof of anything," but estimates for Clinton and Obama are well over $20 million each already in this quarter, so Edwards will need one heckuva late push to remain competitive.

Is there any reason to expect he will exceed his finish of the 1st quarter, when he placed a distant third with about $14 million raised (and fifth of the major candidates in both parties, beating only McCain's disappointing performance), and his GOAL apparently was only $9 million for the 2nd? The only possibility I see of this happening would be if he was sandbagging the numbers, knowing he would beat them and win an "expectations game" thereby.

His poll numbers have returned to the lower levels from earlier this year. Except for his strength in Iowa, he has shown little to impress in this campaign. Success in Iowa isn't even much of an indicator: only three of seven contested caucuses were won by the eventual Democratic nominee (three of five on the Republican side).

Well, I hope this is true, ... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

Well, I hope this is true, but I'll wait 'til the final numbers come in. I don't trust any of these campaigns to tell the truth about their fundraising.

For all we know, it's a poor mouth letter to try to boost contributions. He could have already reached his goal and is going for the big push now.

I hope it ISN'T true. Edwa... (Below threshold)

I hope it ISN'T true. Edwards has been dragging the Democratic field leftward - his new-found far-left position on Iraq, his relentless "two Americas" lefty-populism, his sucking up to the unions, and his opposition to free trade have affected the others. If he drops out, Hillary and Obama may feel free to run back to the center.

Also, if Edwards leaves, it will free up a good number of consultants, staff, and volunteers for a late entry like Gore to hire.

IMHO, the longer Edwards stays viable, the better for Republicans' eventual prospects.

Jim, good point on the fall... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

Jim, good point on the fallout of an early Edwards collapse. I just can't stand his smarmy, superior to thee demeanor.

However, an AlGoreacle entry would still help to drag the rest of the demo field to the left. Either way, both Edwards and Goreacle are known losers.







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