|From this morning's press release:
Conlin Campaign Raises More than all of Grassley's Past Challengers Combined
Has $1 Million in the Bank
Banked $879,615 in First Quarter with NO PAC or WASHINGTON LOBBYIST MONEY
Des Moines - Roxanne Conlin's grassroots campaign for the US Senate has more than $1 million in the bank. Iowans made up 81 percent of the campaign's contributors and she has not accepted one penny from Washington lobbyists or PACs.
"I'm humbled by the outpouring of support for our campaign," said Conlin. "Our grassroots effort has reached 93 counties and we will reach the remaining six this weekend. Iowans keep telling me, Chuck Grassley is not the same man they sent to Washington decades ago. We need a fighter who will stand up for Main Street and not bail out Wall Street."
No PAC or Washington lobbyist funds.
81 percent of donors are Iowans.
78 percent of contributions are $100 or less.
Campaign to date raised: $1,483,191
First Quarter 2010 raised: $629,615
Candidate contribution: $250,000
First Quarter PAC Money: $0
First Quarter Federal Lobbyist Money: $0
First Quarter 2010 total: $879,615
Cash on hand: $1,000,455
Those are impressive numbers for a challenger, especially since Grassley is not considered one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents. Grassley's last Democratic opponent, Art Small, only raised about $136,000 during the whole 2004 campaign, and about $70,000 of that total came from the candidate himself.
I haven't seen Grassley's latest fundraising numbers yet. He raised about $810,000 during the fourth quarter of last year and began 2010 with about $5 million on hand. While Grassley will surely have a big cash-on-hand edge over Conlin, she will have the resources to run a statewide campaign.
I haven't seen first-quarter numbers for the other Democratic candidates, Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen, but at year-end Fiegen had about $400 on hand, and Krause had about $3,500.
At Iowa Independent, Jason Hancock covered a recent dustup among the Democratic candidates over debates before the June 8 primary. I hope we will see some debates in addition to candidate forums. I plan to vote for Conlin, whose work I have long admired and who is best positioned to make the race competitive. Not only has she raised money, she will have a strong volunteer base. Just in my own precinct I know several Democrats who are not inclined to volunteer for Governor Chet Culver but will knock on doors or make phone calls for Conlin. By next Monday she will have held campaign events in all 99 Iowa counties.
I respect the Democrats who prefer Krause or Fiegen, and I understand why some people were annoyed by Iowa Democratic Party chair Michael Kiernan's apparent favoritism last year. Competitive primaries are often healthy for a party, and I particularly appreciate that Krause has kept his message focused on his good ideas and Grassley's flaws as a public servant. I hope the final eight weeks of the primary campaign will not become too divisive.
UPDATE: Grassley raised $613,577 in the first quarter and has about $5.3 million cash on hand. I am surprised that Conlin was able to out-raise the incumbent for the quarter even if you don't count her own large contribution to the campaign.