Mandel, Corker, Gillibrand all winners
In The Fix’s Monday column, we reviewed some of the big winners and losers from the second-quarter fundraising period.
Today, we go a little deeper, looking at the 2012 battle for the House and Senate, race by race, and picking the the highs and lows.
Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R): The state treasurer had arguably the most unexpected report of the quarter, pulling in $2.3 million and outraising Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) by $800,000. Mandel, a 33-year-old Iraq veteran, is now a contender.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): Both are up for reelection in 2012, but neither is considered a top target. That didn’t stop them from raising huge sums, though — $2.6 million for Corker and $3.1 million for Gillibrand. Keep an eye on these upwardly- mobile senators.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): The frontrunner for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) seat didn’t have a hugely-surprising quarter, raising $800,000. The more important thing is that, for the second straight quarter, he had no major opponent raising any money. He’s used that to build a $2 million head start.
New Mexico Senate candidate Hector Balderas (D): The state auditor got outraised in his primary with Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), $485,000 to $400,000, but the fact that he was competitive suggests he will give Heinrich a real run for his money – especially in a heavily Hispanic state.
Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa): His opponent, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), may have gotten the headlines for fending off an intruder at his family’s home last weekend, but Latham had the big quarter, raising nearly $590,000 and outraising Boswell by $400,000 for their just-declared incumbent-on-incumbent matchup on the state’s new congressional map.
Iowa House candidate Christie Vilsack (D): Speaking of the matchups in the Hawkeye State, Latham wasn’t the only one building an advantage in the second quarter. Vilsack, the former first lady of Iowa, outraised Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) more than two-to-one and already has more cash-on-hand than the incumbent.
Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.): The man without a home isn’t going quietly. After having his district chopped up in the state GOP’s redistricting plan, Peters did what he does best: fight back. He raised nearly $300,000 for the quarter. That’s not a spectacular number, but it is solid and well more than both of his potential opponents, Reps. Sandy Levin (D) and Thaddeus McCotter (R). He also has more cash-on-hand than both Levin and McCotter.
California House candidate Ricky Gill (R): The 24-year-old law student — yes, law student — raised nearly $450,000 in the second quarter, which was the third-most of any non-incumbent Republican. He’s currently in Rep. Jerry McNerney’s (D-Calif.) district — he raised twice as much as the incumbent — but he may be in a different seat after redistricting.
Missouri House candidate Ann Wagner (R): The former candidate for Republican National Committee chair who is running for Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin’s (R) seat, raised more than any non-incumbent House candidate in the country, with more than $520,000. That’s well more than opponent Ed Martin (R), who pulled in less than $100,000. And in fact, it’s even more than Akin or any other Republican raised for Missouri’s Senate race.
The Sanchezes: Running in neighboring states, both New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez (R) and former Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (D) – running in Texas – had lackluster starts to their Senate campaigns. John Sanchez raised just $110,000 in his first month-plus as a candidate, self-funding another $200,000 but leaving him off the pace set by former congresswoman Heather Wilson in the GOP primary.
Ricardo Sanchez meanwhile, raised just $160,000 and had $150,000 on hand for an uphill battle in the open Texas Senate race. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has suggested the race is winnable, but Texas requires a whole lot more money than that. The Democrat’s campaign says it will ramp up fundraising in the third quarter, but he entered the race in mid-May, so he had plenty of time to get things going in the second quarter. Not a good start.
Connecticut Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz (D): Two years ago, the former secretary of state was the odds-on favorite for the state’s governorship. In the second quarter, she finished third in fundraising in an open Democratic Senate primary, finishing behind Rep. Chris Murphy and even state Rep. William Tong with just $427,000.
Cleveland Democrats: With Republicans pretty set on targeting Cleveland-area Democrats in redistricting – one of their districts is likely to be cut with the state losing two seats – none of them stepped up their game in the second quarter. Northeast Ohio Reps. Marcia Fudge, Dennis Kucinich, Betty Sutton and Tim Ryan all raised less than $200,000, and none has more than $325,000 in the bank.
Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): The embattled lawmaker has a real primary on his hands, as state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian raised nearly $200,000. Wu still outraised him by about $35,000, but raising money as a primary challenger is generally more difficult than that. If Avakian can keep it up, he’s in good shape.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.): The freshman got a bit of a wake-up call in the second quarter. The congresswoman he beat in 2010, Ann Kirkpatrick (D), returned to outraise him $240,000 to $170,000. And Gosar, who was not among the GOP’s best fundraisers as a candidate, is already trailing in cash-on-hand, which is never a good sign for an incumbent. Other GOP incumbents who got outraised include Reps. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) and David Dreier (R-Calif.).