In late March, the Washington Post said Lee Fisher’s 1Q campaign finance report was one of the five most important reports of any Senate race. Specifically, they said:
Ohio is a big and expensive state in which to run for Senate, and, at the end of 2009, Portman had $6 million in the bank while Fisher, who is currently the lieutenant governor, had just $1.8 million. Fisher’s establishment support and money edge over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner should carry him through the May 4 primary but he needs to have had a big first quarter to build momentum as the general election starts in earnest.
Instead, Fisher had one of his absolute worst.
Raising a little over $500k, he now has a measly $1.8M cash on hand. For reference, Congressman Tiberi just put out his numbers yesterday and he is running just 300k behind the leading Democratic Senate candidate.
Lee, that’s pathetic.
The fact is Fisher has officially blown his overwhelming advantage. He was supposed to have more than enough cash to saturate the airwaves months out. And he didn’t. He’s left the door open for Brunner.
Errr. I mean, the Secretary of State.
At this rate, if he’s able to stop himself from screwing the pooch, Lee will head into the general virtually completely tapped out.
But at the end of the day, if whoever wins the primary wants to be in any way competitive to Portman, he or she will need an overwhelming amount of resources from the DSCC and other Democratic organizations to help finance and assist in fundraising their race. The question is whether these national organizations surrender any effort to takeover the GOP seat and try to defend what Dem seats they have now around the country. After all, their time and resources are finite.
My money is still on Fisher to win the nomination. But he’s left the door open for Brunner to sneak through.
Either way, this primary has crushed any Democratic hopes to takeover Senator Voinovich’s seat.