Texas Senate Q1 FEC Fundraising Expectations

So it's now April 5th, and we have yet to hear any of our Texas Senate candidates trumpeting their fundraising results for the Q1, which ended March 31.

Why the wait?
Are they keeping quiet because none had a stellar fundraising quarter, as a friend postulated yesterday? There's certainly the possibility of that. With 5 candidates in the race, it's harder for one person to raise an eye-opening sum. And certainly there are plenty of donors and fundraisers who want to wait and see how much money the candidates could raise on their own. Who is viable and who isn't? And many won't necessarily decide after Q1 numbers, lots will probably wait for the end of the session and/or for Q2 fundraising numbers to determine how vulnerable Dewhurst looks.

Nonetheless, my guess is that the candidates let their staffs rest for the weekend after the fundraising blitz before the FEC deadline. I assume we'll see numbers soon, as the candidates can't hide from them. If they really wanted to bury the numbers, getting them in for Monday's news cycle would have gotten them blanketed under the HB1 coverage.

Things to watch for

1. Who won -- Leppert, R. Williams or a surprise? Out of the five candidates -- Elizabeth Ames Jones, Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert, Michael Williams and Roger Williams -- most people think Tom Leppert is the frontrunner to have raised the most. If not, then probably Roger Wiliams. Roger Williams has been in the fundraising game for a long time, but as former CEO and Dallas Mayor, Leppert should be able to make some easy sales among the Dallas business community.

2. Michael Williams v Ted Cruz. The knock on the former Railroad Commish is that he couldn't raise the money. Can he? Particularly key: if Ted Cruz raises more money than Michael Williams, there are some M. Williams admirers who will hop on the Ted Cruz bandwagon. This is particularly key because Jim DeMint and other national conservatives will be looking at these numbers.

3. EAJ. Most folks I talk to don't think Elizabeth Ames Jones has a path to victory. I don't see one either, and I've heard the least from her campaign by a good margin over the past couple months. Yet she does have two key possible sources of early money: the energy community and San Antonio. As the daughter of a successful wildcatter and after a few years on the Railroad Commission, she should have a pretty solid network of energy explorers. And as the only candidate from San Antonio, she should be in a good spot to tap Alamo Heights.

Getting out of the gate is only part of the horserace

This is just the early money. It largely measures the base of support with which the candidates started the campaign. Future fundraising numbers reflect more deeply the degree to which candidates are able to persuade people to jump on the friends and family bandwagon. Still, these numbers go a long way towards defining the prism through which many will see the race for the next 3 months.

FYI, I had zero contact with any campaigns about their numbers in writing this post.

Posted by Evan @ 04/05/11 12:12 PM


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Leppert is going to surprise a lot of people on Election Day if he continues to raise money at this rate, and communicate his message so well across the state.

Absolutely great Mayor. I hope he wins.

Posted by Paul Francis @ 04/06/11 07:22 AM

Shouldn't Roger Williams have a huge chunk of cash on hand from his aborted campaign when KBH was in/out/in/out? When they report the 1 Qtr results, will we also get word about total balance?

Posted by robert @ 04/09/11 03:48 PM

Lela Pittenger is also another candidate that is running for the United States Senate seat for the state of Texas. Her views are very intriguing and worth considering. You should research her stance on the issues, I think that you might agree with her common sense approach

Posted by tcuhornfrog00 @ 04/22/11 09:27 PM

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