Midterms are coming, and there’s plenty of money involved as Monday’s third quarter campaign finance reports made clear.
Some observations with graphics follow.
Other people’s money
Technically, there are 26 candidates listed as active in the governor’s race. But only 11 (including Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who dropped out of the race) have raised significant cash.
And of that nearly $7.5 million raised, 57 percent came from the candidates. There’s Republican businessman Victor Mitchell’s $3 million, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ $630,000 and GOP Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s $260,000.
So here’s a different look at fundraising for the 2018 governor’s race. It takes out the candidate donations, and relies only on money from other sources. Keep in mind that Stapleton entered the race only a few days before the third quarter closed on Sept. 30.
Note: This table has been updated with correct numbers for candidate Doug Robinson.
It’s worth a visual to look at the top 10 candidates in terms of overall fundraising thus far.
To reiterate from Monday’s post, Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser continues to outraise all but one other candidate, former state Sen. Michael Johnston. One of Weiser’s challengers, Brad Levin, is also in the top 10. Meanwhile, incumbent GOP Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has raised only $47,000.
This list includes candidate donations to their campaigns (Polis and Noel Ginsburg) but not loans (Mitchell, Doug Robinson and Levin).
(Check out the running totals for statewide candidates.)
For now, let’s just look at the top 5 individual donors, and note that two of them – Polis and Ginsburg – are candidates.
Venture capitalist Reid Hoffman is the primary donor of the new Frontier Fairness PAC (see below), but he also gave $1,150 to Johnston’s gubernatorial campaign. Is that a clue on Frontier Fairness?
Meanwhile, private equity firm owner Landis Martin and beer baron Pete Coors are the primary donors to the state Republican Party’s independent spending committee. (Again, see below.)
From the outside
Much has been made of Better Colorado Now, an independent spending committee affiliated with Stapleton. And that committee is definitely the leader thus far.
Three of the committees in the top 10 appear to be involved in school district races this fall. (Betting that Nic Garcia takes a look at these on Chalkbeat Colorado at some point.)
But GOP independent spending and 527s are outraising Democratic committees thus far. For decoding purposes, Coloradans for Fairness is raising money for Senate Democrats, Our Colorado Values is raising money for House Democrats and Values First Colorado is raising for House Republicans. (Lots of values in the House, apparently.)
Spending by these outside groups will play a significant role in 2018. In 2014, outside groups spent more than $11 million just on the governor’s race.
So this tweet from 18th Judicial District Attorney and GOP gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler about Better Colorado Now is, well, interesting.
— George Brauchler (@GeorgeBrauchler) October 17, 2017