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Strickland relies on special interests to fund finance surge

There are three sets of numbers that really stuck out to me when reading through the campaign finance reports of John Kasich and Ted Strickland.

1. Strickland received $605,000 from PACs and Party organizations. Kasich received $57,000. Democrats love to make the claim that Kasich is the one beholden to special interests. That argument doesn’t just look silly after seeing these numbers, it looks downright insane. By over 10-1, special interests have taken ownership of Strickland. And it shows.

2. Kasich received 1,224 contributions under $25. Strickland received just 61. That massive difference in the number of low dollar contributions speaks towards the massive difference in grassroots support and enthusiasm between the two candidates. If Strickland was inspiring any kind of backing from the average voter, that would show in the All that being said, the incumbent Governor still leads the challenger in cash-on-hand. As he should. After all, he’s been in office for nearly four years. That’s what’s supposed to happen. After all, it’s a lot easier to arm-twist when you’re the one in power.

What will be curious to watch is how well contributions keep coming in for Strickland. From looking at his report, it seems that a whole lot of special interests have already maxed out. What will that mean for the rest of the way?

Lis Smith, the Governor’s campaign communications director, also jabbed Kasich’s team for their spending habits. Obviously, she ignores the huge, in-your-face fact that Strickland already has a full official Governor’s staff that coordinates Strickland’s schedule and the vast majority of his activities. Meanwhile, Kasich has had to staff up from scratch and run his entire operation from his campaign office. Kasich’s spending isn’t unusual for a challenger’s race by any stretch.

What is unusual? Spending over $500,000 in attack ads and seeing no change in your opponent’s negatives. Think Strickland would rather spend that money in October rather than this past May? If you answer anything other than yes, you’re beyond hope.

One article in Politico by David Catanese about the fundraising battle made me glad I wasn’t drinking when I read it, lest an IPA end up all over my computer screen. In it, Catanese seemingly repeats whatever Lis Smith typed out for him as he gazed longingly into her eyes.

The article not only provides several talking points from Strickland’s campaign manager, but it even repeats the Strickland campaign meme about Kasich’s time at Fox News. And did he bother to include any perspective from the other side? No. Not a lick.

A search of Catanese’s articles at Politico helps highlight the bias towards Strickland.

His headlines?

  • Strickland fundraising tops among Dem govs
  • Strickland ties Kasich to Wall St.
  • Strickland retakes lead over Kasich

That’s it. That’s everything.

Real subtle, Dave.

But I digress.

Yes, Strickland is up on Kasich by $2 million cash-on-hand. Would we prefer Kasich to be on top? Of course. But as the challenger, the deficit is not only expected, it should be larger.

So what are the positives?

  • Strickland has already maxed out a lot of his special interest supporters. And there is no indication that he maintains any grassroots fundraising support.
  • The RGA maintains a massive cash advantage over the DGA. We can hopefully count on them making up some of the difference.
  • Strickland’s massive expenditures have so far had the opposite intended effect.

At the end of the day, as long as Kasich’s team keeps doing what they’re doing, they will have plenty of dollars to communicate their message.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.

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