|Republican Mike Pence is running for Indiana Governor|
This is not good news for Ted Strickland, Richard Cordray, Tim Ryan, or whoever else is considering challenging Governor Kasich in 2014. The Republican Governors Association (RGA) continues to get better and better at raising money. They just announced their total for 2011, and it was a huge year.
The Republican Governors Association raised $44.1 million in 2011, more than doubling its fundraising total from 2007, the last comparable election year. The RGA also carried forward into 2012 $26.6 million, giving the RGA more cash on hand than any other political party committee.
How did Democrat Governors do in comparison? They came up embarrassingly short, raising only $20 million last year. All of the momemtum is on the RGA’s side. While the RGA more than doubled its total from 2007, the DGA only brought in 57% more.
It almost makes you feel bad for Lis Smith, the Director of Communications for the DGA. She has a history of working for employers who lose. First, Jon Corzine, then Ted Strickland, and now the DGA. She has to come out and spin this, and the best she can do is to say “umm, it doesn’t matter how much money the RGA has because it doesn’t help them win!”.
In 2010, the RGA helped to flip 6 governorships back into the red column, including here in Ohio, of course. (Remember that, Lis? I bet Ted Strickland remembers how effective the RGA was!) That put Republicans back in control of the majority of states, with 29 governorships compared to 20 for Democrats.
Even better news for the GOP is that 2012 looks to be a brutal year for Democrats in governors’ races. There are 11 races this year, and 8 of them are currently blue. That is a lot of seats to defend, especially with an unpopular president on the ticket. The 3 seats that Republicans have to defend are extremely safe (UT, ND and IN), and RGA chairman Bob McDonnell plans to use the RGA’s superior resources to “go on offense” in those other 8 races. Of the Washington Post’s list of the 5 most likely governorships to change parties, all 5 are Democrats.
With a year such as this, the RGA may be able to bank a lot of what they have raised to build a bigger warchest for 2014. That’s good news for John Kasich.