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July 30, 2007
GOP Lags in Fundraising, Internet Savvy
If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee (better than 50-50 at this point) ,she has already announced she will not accept the $75 million federal payment, and raise money independently for the general election. She might be able to raise $500 million or more. As Patrick Ruffini points out, the GOP is not in the same league as far as internet fundraising at this point, and would likely be swamped in the money raising race by her campaign or that of any other Democrat.
Democrats picked up 6 Governors chairs in 2006. They now control Ohio, for instance, a key battleground state, and Colorado, another. Send a few hundred ACORN folks in to fudge phony registrations in these states while Governors look the other way at the fraud right under their noses, overwhelm the states with ads, and there goes 20 Electoral votes in Ohio, and 9 in Colorado. Enough for Clinton to win if nothing else changes (281-257 for Democrats in Electoral College in that case).
But the GOP is also vulnerable in Arkansas (6), West Virginia (5), Missouri (11), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Virginia (13) and Iowa (7) as well, i think, all states Bush won in in 2004 - 52 more Electoral votes that could switch sides. And Florida (25) is always a horse race. Can any Republican hold many of these states, and also challenge the Democrats in Pennsylvania (21), New Jersey (15), Michigan (18), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (10)? That is where Rudy Giuliani's electability issue comes into play. The GOP will need to turn a few blue (Kerry) states to balance losses in a few states Bush won in 2000 and 2004 which may vote Democratic in 2008.
And it needs to get its fundraising machine revved up and quickly. It is possible that once a GOP nominee is determined, that person will become the face of the Party, and not George Bush. That may help awaken awaken slumbering or in hiding GOP voters, and help the fundraising side as well. But as Ruffini points out, the GOP needs to be competitive in all the current pathways to money raising, and that is not the case today.