Monday, April 21, 2008

Money Matters

We all wish it didn’t, but money matters in politics. And Jim Gilmore doesn’t have enough of it.

In the recently ended quarter, Gilmore raised just shy of $400,000 while the presumptive Democratic nominee Mark Warner raised nearly $2.5 million. The difference is astounding considering both men are former Governors. Even more disturbing is Gilmore’s cash on hand, just over $200,000. Warner has $4.4 million. That’s a 20-1 difference. Unbelievable! If I were working on the Gilmore campaign, I’d be worried about my next paycheck.

Gilmore’s challenge to the GOP nomination, Delegate Bob Marshall raised around $50,000. But, he is clearly the underdog in this fight and spent 2/3 of the quarter in Session in Richmond.

I know, I haven’t been the nicest to Gilmore on this blog. But this has nothing to do with him personally. As a Republican, I am deeply concerned as to what this says about the race. And it tells me we are in trouble.

So why does money matter? Gilmore has to do two things to win. First, his high negatives (approaching 50%) mean he needs to drive a positive message about himself. He needs to convince the voters that he’s not such a bad guy. Second, he needs to attack Mark Warner’s record while not driving his own negatives even higher. And both take money. A lot of money.

A candidate for the Board of Supervisors can shake every hand. He doesn’t need much money to win. It’s all retail politics. A State Senate campaign is about 50/50. But a US Senate campaign is nearly 100% wholesale politics—mainly mail and TV ads. All but a very few will decide who to vote for having never meet either candidate.

I am undecided in the contest between Gilmore and Marshall. I’d like a third choice but with every passing day, that becomes less likely. When we go to nominate our candidate, we as Republicans need to give serious thought to Gilmore’s lackluster fundraising. As a former Governor and former RNC Chairman, he should be doing much, much better than this. If the situation doesn’t get remarkably better, Gilmore’s chances of beating Warner will get even worse.


yoder said...

We need to get rid of Gilmore now to have a chance this fall. Gilmore cannot overcome his negatives. Our only hope is Del. Marshall.

John said...

Dear Ex Senator Bell:

Thanks for this enlightening post, you continuously remind us of why you're a bastion of political genius!

I also liked your comment on Raising Kaine, so you're buy what the DPVA is selling eh? When last I checked Mark Warner's website, he had a stupid little tidbit on how he had just north of 2,000 some odd donors. "Mark Warner" himself on his blog claims to have over "5,000" donors. And now the DPVA claims 8,700. Well, those three figures are waaaaay off from one another. Let's see what the FEC says eh?

2,245 is the number of individual donors to Mark Warner. ("I swear there was a budget deficit of $6 billion" comes to mind here, lest we not forget we actually had a surplus.)

To my recollection, Gilmore has over 1,500 donors to date, not 394, but you just keep on believing what the DPVA says as fact.

Also, a point of clarification, John McCain one the Republican nomination with very little money, and at this time 2006 Jim Webb did not have as much money as Jim Gilmore does.

But you just keep on believing what the DPVA says.

John said...

Dear Ex Senator Bell:

I feel obligated to correct my earlier post, for the sake of the record.

Governor Gilmore did not have 1,500 donors, I apologize for my inaccurate statement.

Governor Gilmore had 1,819 donors.

I know that source isn't quite the same as the DPVA, but hopefully you'll take it into consideration

Brandon Bell said...


Pay attention--I didn't post on Raising Kaine. Someone named Bubby clipped in my comments.

Also I could care less how many contributors each candidate has. It is about how much you have raised and what you have to spend. The angle of "we only get small checks" crap is a populist line that is totally irrelevant. Actually Warner is picking up many traditional GOP high dollar donors and that is the biggest problem Gilmore faces going forward.

Just like it takes bullets and guns to win a military battle it takes money to win a political one. So far our guys aren't even in the game.

Oh yeah, "bastion of political genius" at least I can read a post correctly.

Zak Moore said...


At least we know some folks on the Gilmore campaign are still getting a paycheck. Glad to see you guys are still reading the blogs!

Maybe you should spend more time raising money and less time attacking (as incompetent and inaccurate as it may be) Senator Bell.

Spank That Donkey said...

and just how much money have you three Gilmore bashers sent the campaign?

I have contributed cash and my time. Ya'll would actually have credibility if you'd quit carping and get on board with a two time state wide, nova sweeping winning candidate.

Oh, wait a minute Former Senator Bell have you won state wide? Same as Del. Marshall who scolded two other state wide winners LG Bolling, and AG McDonnell.

Those big GOP donors giving to Warner are nothing but influence pedlars... seems all that money they passed around bought our VA Senate previously that now is in the minority, for selling out Conservative principles on taxation.

When are the three of you going to look in the mirror?

Brandon Bell said...


Your comments generally don't make a lot of sense. Most of the time they are all over the place. Try to focus on making one clear point.

As far as contributing to Gilmore, I make it a general rule not to send money to candidates that I don't support.