In the race for critical campaign cash, the latest finance reports show that Arkansas Democratic Senate candidates and the Democratic Party of Arkansas have a significant edge when it comes to fundraising.
I examined seven reports of potentially competitive Senate races, along with the reports of the Democratic Party of Arkansas and the Republican Party of Arkansas. The reports were due at the Secretary of State’s office on Monday and cover the period of July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011. There will likely be more competitive races next year, but as of yet candidates have not filed reports or have filed “carryover reports” which means they didn’t raise any money last quarter.
All total, the Democrats in these seven Senate races raised $133,073 and the Republican candidates raised a total of $69,734. That dramatic difference in fundraising has serious implications in the fight for control of the State Senate.
Currently, there are three races where a Republican Senator faces a Democratic challenger and in each race the Democratic challenger raised more than the incumbent last quarter.
The most significant disparity was in Senate District 28 where Democratic State Representative Tiffany Rogers raised $21,855 to Republican Senator Jonathan Dismang’s $12,950. Currently, Rogers has almost $17,000 more in the bank than Dismang.
On a side note, that last bit should worry Dismang as Rogers is A) one of our better candidates this cycle and B) the new district covers a stretch of territory that is already more familiar with her than him. That is one (of several) state senate seats that looks very promising for us. On top of that, the DPA isn’t doing so bad either:
Last quarter the RPA raised $143,061 and spent $167,120 and the DPA raised $200,455 and spent $105,823.
There is still a long way to go headed into 2012 and a lot could happen between now and election day. On top of that, money isn’t everything in politics, even if it is very important. All the money in the world won’t help a lousy candidate that doesn’t knock on doors, make phone calls, and otherwise work to win the public’s support. Still, this is an encouraging sign.