Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CD2 update: McSally leads in campaign cash, Steele trails

If money were the only factor that might determine who goes to Congress from CD2, the race would be over. Incumbent Republican Martha McSally has over 5 times more in the bank than do her Democratic challengers Dr. Matt Heinz and Victoria Steele combined.

Jim Nintzel at the Tucson Weekly reported on the numbers - and more.

McSally’s fundraising machine is an astonishing thing to watch in action: Even before she was elected, she was one of the best congressional fundraisers in the country. She raises so much money that her accountants can barely keep track of all of it, as several amended FEC reports have shown.

Team McSally spends a lot of those dollars on that fundraising—in the last quarter, she reported expenses of just under $585,000—but she’s still had more than $2.2 million on hand as of March 31 for her reelection campaign.

That kind of enviable warchest certainly puts McSally in a great position going into the 2016 race for CD2, which includes eastern Pima County and all of Cochise County. But McSally still has to worry at least a little bit about how the national mood will affect the 2016 race. (If she weren’t worried about whether voters in CD2 will send her back for a second term, why would she be dodging the question of whether she would support Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket?)

Scriber sees a reason. It's part of the Miraculous Moderate Makeover of Martha McSally. The GOPlins are playing her very cleverly to avoid bad press.

The two Democrats who are vying for the chance to run against McSally had very different quarters. Former state lawmaker Matt Heinz raised nearly $205,000, as he has in previous quarters. (Heinz gave the campaign $11,648, which helped him clear that $200,000 benchmark.) He spent about $121,758 during the quarter, leaving him with just under $388,698 in the bank.

Democrat Victoria Steele—who has racked up an impressive series of endorsements, including the support of Congressman Raul Grijalva—continues to struggle on the fundraising front.

Steele reported raising just under $40,000—which was nearly as much as the $39,199 she spent. As a result, Steele had just under $45,000 in the bank.

It’s certainly true that you don’t need more money than your opponent to win a congressional race—but you do need enough to remain a competitive candidate, and so far, Steele doesn’t appear to be hitting those benchmarks.

All in all, not good news for reclaiming the CD2 seat from McSally.

h/t Jerry Stoops

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