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Don't Be Fooled By The Headline-- Money Will NOT Determine Who Wins In Georgia



It's better to have it than not to have it, but once candidates have enough money to get their message out and execute their Get Out The Vote plan, all that incessant fundraising represents a campaign tactic with seriously diminishing returns. And that's doubly true if fundraising is dominating the candidates' time and keeping them from doing voter contact. Democrats have been cheered by widespread reports today that Warnock and Ossoff "each raised more than $100 million in the last quarter of 2020, shattering fundraising records and eclipsing their Republican rivals in the race-- the largest single-quarter totals by any candidate in U.S. Senate history, beating the $57 million South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison raised earlier this year during his failed bid for the Senate."

And "failed" is the operative word here. Despite unending polls showing a tied race, Lindsey Graham (R) beat Jaime Harrison 1,369,137 (54.5%) to 1,110,828 (44.2%). Harrison raised $130,608,856 to Graham's $107,056.447 but despite that-- and despite Biden spending virtually nothing in campaign funds in South Carolina, Harrison won just 19,287 more votes than Biden did and one extra county, Dillon, a tiny, rural county where 48% of the residents are white and 46% are black.

And that wasn't unique to South Carolina. Democratic candidates for the Senate generally out-raised and out-spent Republicans this year-- and, generally, lost anyway. There were 16 races in 15 states that were considered even vaguely competitive. The Democrats netted one seat, having won in Arizona and Colorado while losing an accidental blue seat in Alabama. In almost are cases the Democrat outraised the Republican.

Alabama

Doug Jones (D)- 39.7%-- $30,640,565

Tommy Tuberville (R)- 60.1%-- $8,548,910

Alaska

Dan Sullivan (R)- 53.9%-- $10,462,547

Al Gross (I/D)- 41.2%-- $19,363,483

Arizona

Martha McSally (R)- 48.8%-- $71,483,697

Mark Kelly (D)- 51.2%-- $99,042,619

Colorado

Cory Gardner (R)- 44.2%-- $28,225,011

Frackenlooper (D)- 53.5%-- $42,907,752

Georgia

David Perdue (R)- 49.7%-- $21,102,564

Jon Ossoff (D)- 47.9%-- $138,257,050

Georgia

Kelly Loeffler (R)- 25.9%-- $92,135,745

Raphael Warnock (D)- 32.9%-- $21,729,915

Iowa

Joni Ernst (R)- 51.8%-- $30,197,718

Theresa Greenfield (D)- 45.2%-- $55,600,879

Kansas

Roger Marshall (R)- 53.2%-- $6,632,318

Barbara Bollier (faux-D)- 41.8%-- $28,519,493

Kentucky

Mitch McConnell (R)- 57.8%-- $67,984,858

Amy McGrath (D)- 38.2%-- $94,133,955

Maine

Susan Collins (R)- 51.0%-- $29,835,198

Sara Gideon (D)- 42.4%-- $74,495,369

Michigan

Gary Peters (D)- 49.9%-- $51,396,924

John James (R)- 48.2%-- $48,156,29

Mississippi

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R)- 54.1%-- $3,352,165

Mike Espy (D)- 44.1%-- $12,200,579

Montana

Steve Daines (R)- 55%-- $32,819,030

Steve Bullock (D)- 45%-- $48,726,463

North Carolina

Thom Tillis (R)- 48.7%-- $25,341,290

Cal Cunningham (D)- 46.9%-- $51,256,579

South Carolina

Lindsey Graham (R)- 54.5%-- $107,056,447

Jaime Harrison (D)- 44.2%-- $130,608,856

Texas

John Cornyn (R)- 53.5%-- $33,923,939

MJ Hegar (D)- 43.9%-- $29,272,765

There were just 4 cases where the winner was also the top fundraiser-- Kelly (AZ), Frackenlooper (CO), Peters (MI) and Cornyn (TX). And in House races the same scenario played out. What has the Democratic Party learned from this? "The large hauls reflect the intense national attention on Georgia's runoffs, which will determine which party controls the Senate. Ossoff raised some $106.8 million between October 15 and December 16, while Warnock amassed $103 million. Warnock's opponent, incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), raised nearly $64 million, while Sen. David Perdue (R), who is running against Warnock, raised just over $68 million."

The Georgia runoffs are in 11 days. The money looks good, polling looks generally OK and Trump has put the Georgia Republican Party into a maelstrom of bitter, seething internal conflict. But my gut tells me that none of this is going to be absolutely determinative. I have a feeling a small but significant enough number of Georgia voters are going to just split the difference-- one Republican and one Democrat. That will leave Moscow Mitch and a fully obstructionist GOP still in control of the Senate and, in great part, in control of the Biden presidency. [Note: if you want to contribute to Warnock or Ossoff, there's a hidden link on this page... just click on the "Bonnie & Clyde Of Corruption" picture.]

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