Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Sunday, February 25, 2007

DSCC vs. NRSC Activity

  • In how much better shape is the DSCC than the NRSC, and how much more proactive is the DSCC being than the NRSC?

    First, in January 2007, the DSCC raised $2.2 million, more than double the NRSC's $900K. Also, the DSCC finished January with $1 million cash-on-hand, more than double the NRSC's $400K. While the DSCC has more debt than the NRSC (due to loans for resources to put toward the obviously very successful 2006 campaign cycle), as long as the DSCC keeps out-raising the NRSC like this, the debt difference will not be a concern.

    Second, look at the News/Press Center pages of the DSCC website and the NRSC website.

    What does the NRSC press site have?
    1) A release lamenting the retirement of Wayne Allard
    2) A release weakly taking Al Franken quotes out of context
    3) A release vaguely pledging to donate the contributions of accused-terrorism-funder and NRSC contributor Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari (a.k.a. Michael Mixon) to an unnamed charity (any specifics, NRSC?)

    What does the DSCC press site have?
    1) A release highlighting Susan Collins' broken pledge to the voters of Maine
    2) Releases highlighting John Sununu opposing the minimum wage and dodging the press on Iraq
    3) Releases highlighting Gordon Smith's hypocrisy on Iraq
    4) A release highlighting the effort to hold GOP Senators accountable for their votes on the Bush Iraq escalation
    5) A release highlighting that the NRSC has gotten funds from the above-mentioned accused-terrorism-funder

    You tell me which of the two has been both more substantive and more proactive? Seems like, for another cycle, the DSCC is beating the pants off the NRSC.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    What world are you living in? Maybe in a theoretical world, where you can create whatever reality pleases you most, your post would have a ring of truth. In the real world, where most of us live in daily, debt is a liability. Its a part of your net worth. If you owe more than you have, then you are in the red, regardless of how much money rests in your checking account.

    Looking at the net worth of each organization, the NRSC is a little under $1 million in the whole (which is approximately what they raised last quarter), while the DSCC is over $5 million in the hole. If the fundraising rates stay the same (which is about the dumbest thing to predict), then the NRSC will be out of debt by next quarter, while the DSCC will barely be able to get into the black by the beginning of 2008. Not exactly promising.

    All of that is moot, however, since we're barely a month into the start of this session, and you're trying to make judgements about the end of the race. That's like going to a baseball game, and saying you can predict the score after the first inning. And given that the NRSC has five times the net worth as the DSCC, the score is currently favor of the GOP.

    The fact that the NRSC doesn't have any press releases up is completely worthless. Moreover, its also indicative of a lack of candidates on behalf of the Democrats. It shouldn't surprise anybody that, with 21 seats to defend, there are more GOP targets to attack. And since Schumer and the Democrats haven't been able to find challengers in should-be competitive states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, there aren't any challengers to attack, other than Franken.

    Of course, that wouldn't matter to any reasonable person, since (as I mentioned before), its only February 2007. But since you're confident in judging the two sides absurdly early on, its safe to say that the DSCC's recruiting efforts have, thus far, been a disaster.

    10:57 AM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - you rambled, "That's like going to a baseball game, and saying you can predict the score after the first inning."

    You ever go to a ballgame where one team's starting pitcher has a 2.50 ERA and the other team's starting pitcher has a 5.00 ERA? While you can't predict the score based solely on that, you can pretty readily say that the team with the 2.50 ERA starting pitcher is in much better shape.

    Similarly, while the debt of the DSCC is over $5 million (which I make clear reference to in my post), as long as the DSCC outraises the NRSC by more than a million bucks a month, the debt factor will be moot, and all that will be left is the fact that the DSCC is far outpacing the NRSC in the fundraising department.

    Very promising.

    Meanwhile, you ridiculously claim that the NRSC lacks targets, as an explanation of the NRSC's lack of press activity. The Dems have a dozen incumbents. Seems like targets for the NRSC to me - especially considering the DSCC is focusing on the GOP incumbents.

    But that does raise a good point, that the GOP has far more defense to play. Again, very promising for the Democrats.

    Obviously, I can't say "The Dems will pick up X seats" - and I haven't said that. What I have said is that the trends all favor the Democrats, cuz they do. And your "reasonable person" would surely agree.

    1:56 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You would readily state that the Democrats are in much better shape no matter what the situation was. You're a hack, and lack the ability of objective analysis, which is why you continue to make worthless points and back it up with the weakest of evidence. God only knows how you can even try to explain how you reached your conclusion with pitcher's ERAs. Rest assured, its devoid of anything but more spin.

    The fact of the matter is what I already explained to you: Its February of 2007, and the fundraising efforts from the last quarter mean absolutely nothing in terms of how each organization is doing, let alone the ridiculous conclusion that one is "beating the pants off" the other. But even if one were insistent enough to look at the snapshot the numbers provide, the NRSC is in a far better position, based off the $5 million debt that the DSCC has hanging around their necks.

    Fundraising will improve on both sides, and to suggest that the rates will stay exactly the same as they are now would rank among the dumber comments that you've made thus far (a title for which there is plenty of competition).

    The DSCC has many incumbents, but anybody who has followed politics for ten minutes can you tell what I can: that Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, and West Virginia stand as much chance as being competitive as Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Wyoming. So while there are a dozen Dem incumbents, only five of them are on the map.

    And the number of GOP incumbents would be promising if you're able to recruit challengers. So far, you're missing challengers in GA, KY, NC, OK, OR, TN, TX, and VA, while you've missed out on the top-tier picks in OR (Kitzhaber), NH (Lynch and Sheheen), NC (Easley), and AL (Davis). And in the two states you do have a challenger, you have a primary on your hands. Not to mention that your star candidate in Minnesota is a jokester who's running 20+ points down.

    Looks promising.

    2:51 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    It is February of 2007, and there are more than twenty months until Election Day 2008. Which is why the $5+ million debt of the DSCC is inconsequential as long as they continue to significantly outraise the NRSC. That's my whole point, which you seem to corroborate factually and then criticize rhetorically.

    And if Stevens and Domenici retire, Alaska and New Mexico are pretty competitive.

    And you seem to agree that its smart for challengers not to jump out too early, and then criticize Schumer for not having more challengers front and center for the NRSC to jump on. Kind of contradictory. There are more than twenty months until Election Day 2008 - plenty of time for incumbents to decide to retire and for candidates to make decisions.

    And I wouldn't state that the Democrats were in better shape "no matter what the situation was." Just looks like the Dems are in a much better position to pick up seats, y'know, given actual facts and numbers and trends and such.

    3:07 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    If you're willing to claim that the DSCC's $5 million debt is irrelevent because there's 20 months until Election Day, then how can you claim that any other financial information is relevent? The amount of money that either organization raises in the first quarter of 2007 is a drop in the bucket in the big picture.

    The information is useful for taking a look at where each organization is at the present moment, but trying to infer any long-term consequences is pure stupidity. While the 2008 Presidential races are well under way, most Senate races haven't even begun to develop, and the three that have (CO, NH, MN) are each in their infancy. Fundraising for either organization is at a low, and will continue to be until campaigns start to ramp up. Moreover, the NRSC is still organizing its staff; asking it to perform at top level, on with a half-complete new staff, is dumb, as is assuming their fundraising levels will continue at that level.

    I am completely in the camp that its impossible to judge the performance of either organization until many, many months from now; however, I was merely pointing out that if you can (absurdly) point out the failures of the NRSC's fundraising, then I can (absurdly) point out the failures of the DSCC's recruiting.

    New Mexico may be competitive if Domenici retires (which doesn't really matter since all signs point towards him running again with little to no opposition), but Alaska will not be competitive, even if Stevens retires.

    5:14 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Very simple - the debt is pretty static - it's only gonna steadily decrease over time. However, the intake will continue to grow, which is why it is important that the DSCC outraise the NRSC at a faster pace. Pace matters on intake, but not on debt. Pretty simple.

    And the information is important beyond just the "present moment" because, continuing from the 2006 cycle, it represents the continued trend of DSCC fundraising superiority over the NRSC, which was my entire point to begin with.

    Sorry, va blogger, but thanks for playing.

    (And how can you say that Alaska won't be competitive if Stevens retires? The Murkowski family's approval is in the toilet, and the new GOP Governor is in a fight with the AK-GOP establishment, so their party is in turmoil. Meanwhile, Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich could cleanly walk to the nomination.)

    5:26 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Pace matters, but as I mentioned before, this is a new NRSC with a new chairman and entire new staff, many of whom haven't been hired yet. Its ludicrous to assume that their fundraising will remain at this level.

    And because its a new staff, and John Ensign, by all accounts, is far more competent than Liddy Dole, assuming that the NRSC will be as disatrous in 2008 as it was in 2006 is equally retarded. A trend can't continue when all of the factors involved in that trend are completely different. If you want a recent example of that, look at the DSCC from 2004 to 2006.

    The reason Alaska won't be competitive is because its a presidential year, and Alaska routinuely votes Republican by over 60%. Its one of the reasons why Murkowski was able to beat Knowles in 2004, and he's the strongest you've got. If your strongest challenger can't beat an weak appointed senator, then how can you reasonably thing you have a chance? Begich isn't assured of a clear primary, and you're grossly exaggerating the supposed "feud" between Palin and a member of the state legislature. When the GOP controls all four statewide offices and holds a majority in both state houses, calling the party "in turmoil" is moronic.

    5:59 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    With all of Ensign's Vegas developer contacts, he should have had a better January, period. So the trend continues, sorry.

    And the "feud" isn't just between Palin and "a member of the Legislature." The GOP Speaker of the State House, being cheered on by the Chair of the AK GOP state committee, is trying to strip away Palin's power to appoint a Senator in case of vacancy (with Stevens at an advanced age and his son under suspicion of criminal activity). Pretty harsh, and certainly beyond just a "feud."

    9:27 PM, February 26, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    What? That's ridiculous. Its fucking February of 2007, and there's no campaigns to spend money on yet. The DSCC is raising money because they have $6 million in debt to erase. The NRSC is still putting together its staff. After there are campaigns to spend money on and a staff to raise the funds, you'll see more money raised.

    Its a completely new NRSC, on a completely playing field. There is no trend, and you're a moron.

    You've convinced me about Alaska. I think you should spend all of your efforts trying to win the Senate seat there, and I think you should call Chuck Schumer and get him to invest millions of dollars going after the seat. I think that's the best play for you, given how much in shambles the GOP is currently.

    10:24 AM, February 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    You're right, va blogger, why would the NRSC want to raise money? They're hiring some new staff assistants now. They can worry about fundraising next year. Maybe you should run the NRSC. That's be a good time for everybody. I mean, you are a calm, rational person.

    10:43 AM, February 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Why would they have to worry about fundraising next year when there are ten months in this year? You don't make a lot of sense. Maybe that's why you continually stretch the truth to make points, if you don't lie outright.

    If you want to expect the NRSC to continue its meager fundraising from now until the end of the cycle, you can do so. Anybody with half a brain would recognize that, in the first month of 2007 without a complete staff and no races to raise money for (and no huge debt to pay off, like the DSCC), that fundraising isn't as big a priority.

    I never said that they don't want to raise money; obviously, they raised some, and they'll raise a lot more in the future. But its just plain dumb to try to paint it as a trend continuing from last cycle. You're entitled to be as big of a hack as you'd like, but I would hope you would try to avoid utter stupidity.

    11:33 AM, February 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - did you actually say regarding the NRSC that "fundraising isn't as big a priority" right now?

    You do realize that the number one priority of the NRSC at all times is fundraising, right?

    You sure you want to keep replying?

    1:30 PM, February 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I meant that fundraising in January of 2007 isn't as important as funraising virtually any other time. As we get closer to the election, the importance of fundraising increases. Given that we're only three months out from the last election, and have 21 months to go, fundraising is an important part of the NRSC's functions (represented by the close-to-million dollars that they raised), but they're still focusing on hiring staff, candidate recruitment, and game-planning.

    My overall point is two-pronged. First, this is a new NRSC operating in a new cycle. Any trends from last cycle ended on Election Day, 2006. Since this is the first financial report of the cycle, that means we only have one to work with. You may not know it, but one financial report cannot equal a trend.

    Second, there are 21 months from now until Election Day, and its a given that fundraising will increase, especially with the other things that the NRSC is focusing on right now. Any assertion that the DSCC is "beating the pants off" of the NRSC is, at best, woefully premature, and at worst, just plain wrong. In either case, its a dumb thing to say.

    3:22 PM, February 27, 2007  

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