(Chuck Muth) – With much pomp and circumstance, Democrat congressional candidate Erin Bilbray-Kohn announced on Thursday that she raised $253,000 in the third quarter reporting period, with her campaign boasting that it was the “most ever by a Nevada congressional challenger in the third quarter of a non-election year.”
First, let’s fact-check that. I’m told that Democrat candidate John Oceguera actually raised more than that for the same period in his own failed attempt to take out Republican Rep. Joe Heck in 2012.
That aside, $253K is still quite underwhelming. Here’s why…
Bilbray-Kohn is one of the Democrats’ top recruits in one of the Top Ten most competitive races in the country where the Democrats have a chance to pick up a seat from the GOP. Indeed, the Democrats’ voter registration advantage in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is somewhere in the range of 10,000 voters.
Bilbray-Kohn is a legacy. Her father, as she mentions often on the campaign trail, is a former Member of Congress with, surely, a pretty fat Rolodex.
Bilbray-Kohn is the Democrat National Committeewoman for Nevada, which means she knows and has access to all the big wheels in the Democrat Party nationwide.
Bilbray-Kohn didn’t just fall off the turnip truck last night. She’s been in and around politics for some 20 years. In fact, she’s so involved in the process that since 2006 she’s headed up an organization training OTHER candidates.
Bilbray-Kohn was endorsed early by the pro-abortion Emily’s List and was quickly added to the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Jump Start” program. That alone should have opened up the floodgates of campaign cash for her!
San Fran Nan herself – Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) – came to Las Vegas this summer to do a fundraiser for Bilbray-Kohn.
And Bilbray-Kohn hasn’t been raising money just for the last three months since she “officially” declared on July 1st. No, it’s well-known that she’s been running and has been dialing-for-dollars – or at least commitments for dollars – since last February or March.
So this $253,000 isn’t for just the past three months, but rather about SEVEN months worth of fundraising.
And just to put this a little further into perspective…
David Trott is a congressional challenger in Detroit – a city in even WORSE shape than Las Vegas. And according to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Trott “announced just over a month ago” – as opposed to Bilbray-Kohn announcing three months ago – yet “hauled in nearly $500,000 in donations in the first three weeks of his campaign.”
Three WEEKS! And that’s for an intra-party PRIMARY race!
Yet according to the Bilbray-Kohn campaign’s spin, her $253K wildly exceeded expectations. But that can only be true if you artificially set expectations WAY below what they should be.
Indeed, as I noted a couple weeks ago the Bilbray-Kohn campaign never said exactly what their fundraising goal for the 3rd quarter was when making last-minute appeals for donations to meet their goal. So it’s not exactly surprising that the campaign would announce that they had exceeded a fundraising objective that no one outside the campaign knew.
Here’s the bottom line: Considering everything Bilbray-Kohn has going for her as outlined above, she should have broken at least a half-million raised. Clearly that’s not impossible, as Mr. Trott in Detroit proved.
But let’s concede that I’m a partisan blogger. So knock off $100,000. Heck, knock off $200,000!
That still means, at a minimum, she should have exceeded $300,000 raised.
This is not a juggernaut. Not saying Bilbray-Kohn will be a pushover, but she’s no colossus. Clearly Democrat donors aren’t completely sold on her as a candidate yet, especially after several early fumbles in her campaign roll-out.
On the other hand, I feel compelled to point out that she has two wonderful daughters and a husband who cooks a mean lasagna…so she has that going for her. And will continue having that going for her a year from now after she, like John Oceguera before her, loses to Joe Heck.
Not a bad consolation prize!