Thursday, July 15, 2010

Q2 Reports Due Today; Kirk Trounces Alexi (UPDATED: Dold and Seals Neck-and-Neck)

Well, Q2 reports are due today, so the candidates that have been playing coy up until now ought to go ahead and fess up, because we'll all find out your results soon.

[TA's Note: I wrote the text below this morning before I saw the Washington Post has reported on Alexi Giannoulias' campaign numbers. Not a bad prediction on my part]

As everyone knows, Mark Kirk had a killer fundraising second quarter, $2.3 million. Nothing but crickets from Alexi, so my guess is he raised maybe a little over a million. That ought to suck a lot of wind out of his sails. We'll see.

UPDATED: Bloomberg News reports that Alexi raised less than $1 million in Q2, and has only $1 million on the bank. Wow.

The other race we're watching closely is the 10th congressional district race, where two-time loser Dan Seals is matched up against GOP newcomer Bob Dold. Both candidates have been holding their cards close, which means to me that neither side knows how the other did, so no one wants to be the first to brag, only to be upstaged by the other side.

Conventional wisdom would give a slight fundraising edge to Seals, simply due to greater name recognition, an established fundraising base (especially on the national side), and the fact that the Dems see IL-10 as a much better pickup opportunity than many districts where a Dem snuck in under the Obama umbrella in 2008, and there is a much greater chance of such districts swinging back to the GOP in the current environment.

Nevertheless, we expect a strong quarter out of Dold, even if he doesn't eclipse Seals, so this race is still very much in play, and it'll be exciting to see it unfold.

Feel free to leave your Q2 guesses in comments.

UPDATED: We've all been very curious about how the Dold and Seals fundraising competition would play out and it looks like the candidates were a virtual dead heat for Q2 results. Based on the Tribune's Clout Street blog report, Seals was around $550,000, and Dold edging slightly at $560,000 or so. Both candidates have about $800,000 cash on hand.

Based on expectations that Seals should be ahead of Dold by most conventional standards, I count this as a win for Dold.

Also - Greg Hinz has the scoop on the grilling Alexi G took today as he tried to explain away his for-crap fundraising numbers and his disingenuous hair-slitting as to who he will and will not take money from. Short story, unions PACs are okay, but not any PACs that donate to Kirk. Ahem.

UPDATED: Here's some coverage on Kirk and Dold in the Daily Herald.


Anonymous said...

Just a little over $900.000 for Alexi in this very important quarter. I seem to recall that some pretty hefty visitors came to town to help this kid. Guess it didn't help much. So now we're going to hear how Alexi won't take money from this one, that one, the other one. Sure, nice try. TA, while this is great news for the Kirk team, they and Kirk are hardly out of the proverbial water in fighting the White House on this campaign. In the next 110 days I'm sure that the Democratic Senatorial Committee will find many ways to stoke the coffers of this guy's campaign. It sure is great news, though, to see that as much as the naysayers try to crush Mark Kirk, more believe in him and want him in the Senate than the Democrats can understand. Thanks for the great news this morning.

Anonymous said...

I predicted 1.3-1.7 million. This is so awful I don't even know where to begin for Alexi. It pretty much shows the campaign was shut out of fundraising after the bank meaning democrats thought he had no shot.

My guess is that he will self fund anywhere from 3-4 million bucks to "stop the washington special interests", because otherwise his goose is cooked.

My guess is that this is probably the best day at kirk hq since the bank failed and will put alexi back on super defense which won't help him at all.


A. Bees said...

Wow this news is unreal.

To think that a candidate, from a blue state and home state of the democratic president, could not break the $1 million dollar mark in one of the two biggest fund raising quarters of the campaign is baffling.

AG has been very quiet for months, when he should have been raking in the dollars, but he has failed at that. These numbers will likely drive political donors away from his race.

On the flip side, Kirk will probably see a boost to his fund raising. The Republican Senatorial Campaign will smell the blood in the water and pour money into this race.

As long as Kirk keeps building his positives and staying out of the negative press, it is realistic to see him sitting on a 3 to 1 financial lead over AG at the all important Labor Day holiday.

Awesome news!

A. Bees said...


You make a good point about self financing. But with the family bank gone, I do have to wonder what other source of income AG would have to make up for those dollars if he loses.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Bees. Maybe he'll rethink his decision to give his tax refund to charity and to use it in helping his sad campaign funds. I guess it wasn't really helpful that Biden, Plouffe and Massina came in here to bombard our State with their high powered influence. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall in the White House today. Our thin skinned president must be awfully mad about a lot of things, but this should really be ticking him off.

Anonymous said... wanted good news from me last we spoke. Today you got it.

Zambuca is chilling.

Team America said...

I don't even like Zambuca, but's its going to taste great on election night.

Anonymous said...

When you consider that seals has been running for 6 years with no job, 500k is a pathetic figure. It amounts to about 7k a day which takes about an hour to raise if you've been at it as long has he has. He also had fundraisers with biden and 2 top democrat leaders during that time which should have easily put him over the 1 million mark. Not even close. I would be highly skeptical if the DCCC this fall breaks its neck again to give him the 2-3 million he'll need from them in financial reinforcements given the 70 seats they have to defend. The 3 million they spent on seals last time could save them 4-5 incumbent seats and so I doubt they'll waste that change on this loser with that kind of piss poor performance.

Dold's number isn't great either. Mark was in much better shape in 2000 at this point and unlike dold he didn't have 20 years of preparing to run for congress or the family connections that dold had.

The net of all of this is that democrat donors are telling alexi and dan seals they are through with them.


A. Bees said...

Don't knock the Dold numbers just yet. Keep in mind that those numbers are in a down economy, in a state where the political dollars for R's are going to ALOT of candidates. Not to mention, alot of 10th District money is going to the Kirk campaign. That is obvious.

And they beat Seals, when Seals has had two previous runs to build his fund raising database. Plus he had Biden in for a fund raiser. Truly those issues really say tons about his campaign and the fact that he weathered that storm and still came out on top.

I am very impressed by what Dold has accomplished in this climate.

Team America said...

A.B. - I tend to agree with you; FOKLAEAPS has always traditionally been a bit sparse with his praise for Dold. But to even match Seals in the blue 10th with his name recognition and built-in advantages is a victory. Certainly Team Dold is getting a psychological boost, which is also important. Seals, not so much.

Is this also a sign that the Biden/Obama/DC machine doesn't have the fundraising ooompah that one would have otherwise suspected?

Add poor results from Seals (given the effort) to Alexi and suddenly we have a trend.

Anonymous said...

Dold said at the beginning of the campaign he needed 5 million to win. He's got 800k coh. With early voting that has to last 8 weeks. Not that much.

There was a presidential campaign last cycle where 12 guys running for president came to illinois to raise money, mark still hauled in 5 million. Forgive me, but I have more faith in team america voting for alexi than I do in randy hultgren, adam kinzinger or joel pollak making it to congress. The hastert boys are involved in a number of those races and they are a big Oh for illinois over the last decade. Pollak raised 6k last cycle and hultgren and kinzinger will be outspent 12-1 and 6-1. They are not threats to dold's fundraising and neither strikes me as brilliant in any way.

the biggest losers are seals and alexi for pathetic fundraising quarters to match their pathetic characters and campaigns, but after Dold's big talking I expected better.


A. Bees said...

Honestly I have to think that Giannoulias' is firing one lead fundraiser and hiring another. Seals maybe considering the same.

Between the demographics of the state, the president and the national fund raising numbers, these results are baffling.

Unless, what we are seeing is that the House Democrats have taken a completely defensive position. They may have decided to put all of their money into protecting their incumbents and allowing races like the 10th to play out.

With the WH making claims that they think Dems may lose the House, Pelosi may be taking these steps to try to keep herself in office, rather than new legislators.

On the Senate side, this may just be a case where the money recognizes a failing young candidate and with people like Harry Reid in trouble, they'd rather put their money in that race.

Just a thought. I'd love to hear others' ideas.

A. Bees said...


I understand your perspective, but I think it is flawed and here's why.

1. Kirk is taking A LOT of money out of the 10th. It's his base and the money folks will support him.

2. Kirk and Brady are in dead heats or winning. They are pulling tons of dollars in Illinois. Plus you have all of the state wides who have a fighting chance. Honestly, Judy Baar Topinka has a helluva fund raising list and you know she's using it.

3. The 10th is one of the wealthiest areas of the state, so you know an enormous amount of that money is coming out of the district.

4. When Kirk pulled $5 million he had been sitting in Congress for three terms, he knows the system better than most and Hastert's top brass are his close friends.

5. The 2006 economy was blazing hot, but the 2010 economy?

6. Raising $5 million to win the seat is a total race number. How much did he raise and spend in the primary? How much has he spent so far?

Now I am not saying that Dold's numbers are blowing me away. What I am saying is that they are very good and in light of what Seal's accomplished, this is exciting news for that campaign. Remember when Seals can't pull away with dollars, that means that the flood gates for Dold may open this quarter.

Anonymous said...

Dold's number's are pretty much in line with what Kirk tried to raise each quarter as a MOC. In fact, I think it's a bit more. Further, Dold's 2nd quarter numbers are important to show strength and viability as a candidate. More money will come in as the race heats up.

Seals anemic numbers are great news for Dold as I tend to think that both nat'l parties are going to sit this one out. It's just far too expensive in this media market to have the impact they can have in other races. Especially for the DCCC in attempting to keep their vulnerable seats. The odds are not there to expend good cash on this tight a race.

It's still very early, but add to this the fact that he won't release his polling numbers, it looks like the trend for Seals is down.

Anonymous said...

1. GOP presidential candidates raised 10 million bucks here in 2008, that money isn't being raised her for a potus run this fall, so the scarce resources theory is bunk (moreland).

2. Pollak is jewish and from the district next door and I would be shocked if he gets more than 50k this quarter. He's not a threat nor are the statewide down ballot candidates, plummer would get laughed at all the way back to st louis or wherever he's from and the other 3 guys running aren't lighting the world on fire.

3. You have a lot of faith in team hastert, one whose record over the last decade includes running a gop us senator out of the state for not appointing a us prosecutor who would give the chicago democrats a free pass, creating barack obama after they ran said gop us senator out of the state, losing the U.S. House- the first gop speaker to do that in a half century, 85 defeats in the 14th district, and that's just for starters. Some of those guys used to be on team kirk, they sold out, and if that's who the congressman seeks to emulate, I'll happily support pat hughes in 6 years because those guys are a cancer on the party that's taken us 8 years of losing to remove.

3. I've seen dolds berkowitz show and campaign videos, this guy is alexi in terms of his smarminess and lack of understanding of ideas. The thing he's supposed to have going for him is his ability to raise money and win the political knife fight. Dan has a 5 year head start, this won't cut it.


Anonymous said...

For a business owner Dold's estimation skills are pretty bad... "nearly 800k = 725k"

That's not what I learned at good olde' Deerfield High School.

Anonymous said...

Seals actually outraised Dold.

Dold refunded $9,300 in contributions during this quarter, but failed to mention that during their press release.

If you go to the summary table in the FEC report and look at the line for refunded contributions, it becomes as clear as day. If you look at the total net contributions Seals has outraised Dold.

Anonymous said...

I think there are some very important lessons to take away from the fundraising numbers in these two races:

1. IL is a "Blue" state unquestionably; so is the 10th Congressional District. While MK was an elected moderate, the district is "Blue."

2. This is the President's home state and he still does retain a respectable amount of personal popularity. The District voted for him convincingly.

3. Fundraising is still GENERALLY indicative of expected support and that means votes in November.

4. Like in sports, candidates do "peak." AG and DS's numbers are going down. MK and BD's numbers are going up Waning support is contagious.

5. The V.P. was just here and that did not translate into acceptable $$$$.

6. Every account says the Dems are losing independents at a record pace and even significant segments of their more traditional supporters.

7. The positive $$$ numbers for both MK and BD seem to indicate a renewed Republican excitement for a still "flawed" Senate Candidate and an "unknown" 10th CD candidate. The Republicans are much more energized about this race.

What will the President do regarding helping these races? Many say that he may be a "negative" for AG (less so for Seals) but insiders are worrying that campaigning here for THEM would bring way to many problems down on the President. AG is such a flawed candidate and Seals is a two-time loser and so pro big govt. the President has to worry about them bringing HIM down. VA, NJ and MA all hut him when the voting public found out that President Obama has ZERO coattails.

Well, on to November.......................

Anonymous said...

the big numbers that stand out from the fec reports.

1. dan spent 110 percent of what he raised last quarter. I can't figure out what the money all went to, but if it didn't go to upfront buying of media, he's in deep doo doo. lots of $ on staff.

2. dan is lagging behind his prior races-badly. in 06 he raised 2 million. in 2008 he raised 3 million, now with one cycle left he's got barely 1 million banked. His people have quit on him.

3. cadigan and mark both gave dold money after he won. class move.

4. dold has 300k more on hand than seals and has raised 300k more to date, sign of strength for him, but also an indictment of dan-and remember dan had dc firepower come in for him this quarter and still suffered.

5. beeson raised the issue of national gop support yesterday. how much of that comes here is determined by what the playing field looks like in late october. my guess is that some of the races will break in mid october and we'll see people like blunt and portman take commanding leads and not have to need the money while people like rubio and angle fade and get cut off.

all in all I think a good quarter, I look forward to the spin from colonial.


A. Bees said...


SO many of your posts appear to contradict one another's perspective, I don't even know where to start...

In one you are supportive of Kirk, another you are dismissive of Kirk and then supportive of Dold, but negative on Dold's numbers saying they aren't good enough.

Please don't take this as a personal attack, I am just completely confused by what you are trying to say...

Anonymous said...

No opinion expressed - but I think FOKLEAPS has inaccurate data in (1) and (4) in the 9:47 comment.

Seals shows $792k cash on hand, Dold $725k. Seals raised $556k and spent $222k last quarter (a pretty high burn rate).