Shifting Sands 6 - Vote for me, I'm dumber than my opponents.

Monday, November 07, 2005
This doesn't seem too promising as a campaign slogan. Especially for Democrats who have expended a great deal of energy in talking down W's intelligence. It looks like they are going to give it a try though. While I believe that , as a matter of fact, the slogan would be difficult to disprove, I am unaware of any elections actually having been won with such a claim.

Why would a political party adopt such a risible tactic? To whom is such an appeal directed? The United States is on the verge of beginning troop withdrawals from Iraq because the after battle conflict is being transferred into the hands of a legitimately elected Iraqi government. It is difficult to doubt that the Iraqis will resolve the issue of the remaining terrorist thugs. The form of the resolution may be in question but the outcome is not. Why would a pol say that (s)he was duped into voting in favor of a winning battle?

I spend the odd moment doing odd things. One of the odd things that I do is to track FEC contribution and spending reports. I focus on the reports pertaining to the nationanl committees because I believe that those committees are realistic surrogates for the state of party finances as a whole. The specific number that I follow within the reports is Cash On Hand for the end of the reporting period. The reason for that focus is that while fund raising is very important, the cost of fund raising is just as important. Spending .99 to raise a dollar won't leave much in the till at the end of the day. The latest current reports are for September and include year to date (YTD) totals. A review of Howard Dean's 2005 performance as DNC chair in comparison to Terry McAuliffe's 2003 efforts reveals that Dean has significantly outraised McAuliffe - 42.4 million for Dean versus 32.8 million for McAuliffe. But the DNC had 9.8 million on hand at 9/30/03 and has 6.8 million on hand at 9/30/05. The respective numbers for the RNC are 77.9 million raised through 9/30/03 with 27 million in cash on hand and 96.2 million raised by 9/30/2005 with 34 million on hand.

As an aside, those concerned about the President's media described "preciptous decline" in popularity per the polls for which they pay, might take heart in the fact that fund raising seems to provide evidence to the alternative.

Returning to the question of "Why would a pol say that?", one answer may be that the Kossacks really are calling the shots and that the Democrat pols are simply responding to that reality. The party may be unable to maintain itself as a viable enterprise without the Soros/Bing/Lewis funding - even though accepting the SBL conditions will substantially reduce the party's ability to win elections. Alternatively, they won very few elections when McAuliffe was running things and Dean hasn't had his first turn at bat yet.

Alternative theories concerning this tactic would be welcome and appreciated.


Knucklehead said...


It does appear that the Dems are having to spend more bucks to make more bucks, doesn't it. The high rollers don't cough up the donations without being lavishly fete'd.

Your post prompted me to go poke at Their list of biggest donors to the RNC works hunky dorey. For some reason the list of biggest donors to the DNC is broken. No doubt innocently so.

terrye said...

I think the Democrats see a vulnerability and are trying to exploit it.

Even Bill Kristol is saying that the Republicans might be in trouble in 2006. He is basing that in large part on of the fact that the WaPo poll stated 55% of the respondents thought the Bush people misled the American people.

I dunno, but it would seem to me that Kristol would realize that the internals of the poll with only 27% Republicans and over 52% Democrat leaners might be skewed. But he is spooked and that I think is half the game.

They want to spook the Republicans and hope that will create a big fat brawl and their base will go crazy and go vote for the guy with the D behind his name.

Integrity and all that.

What a joke. They are thinking of running Hillary Clitnon in 2008 and they want to make ethics an issue. Imagine the ads with the folks from the Travel Agency. Maybe a reminder of the all the convictions that came out of Whitewater.

I think it might well backfire.

What I do not understand is how the Democrats think they can run from the years they really did run foreign policy. Tenet is a Democrat for God's sake.

The truth is if they don't think trying to kill a president and breaking the cease fire justifies war and if they believe it all hinges on stockpiles of wmd, then how can they justify the Iraqi Liberation Act? In other words, if we believe what they say today the only recourse for them would have been to resolve the situation before Clinton left office.

And they did not. So it is not just a question of them being stupid, it is a question of them creating the problem, along with Saddam.

In fact if we had not invaded in all probability people would still believe the stockpiles were there.

I wonder what they would say if the weapons were found some day?


Rick Ballard said...


"I wonder what they would say if the weapons were found some day?"

George Bush hid them.


As I think about, it occurs to me that a part of the higher expenditures may be going to fund services previously provided by the unions.

As to big donors - try the name option for SBL or the 527 option. They've got paw prints all over the place. They make Scaife look like a piker.

Peter UK said...

Make no mistake Rick,the Democrats are all fired up for the Presidential elections in 2004,with Bush's poll numbers down,he isn't getting back in again!

Jamie Irons said...


Fascinating post.

I would never have thought to look for those numbers!

Responding to what Terrye wrote about Kristol, the being spooked is puzzling, and it is puzzling that the Bushies (or their surrogates) don't more often tell us the good news. (I know they get shouted down by the press, but still...)


terrye said...


I have wondered about that. Sometimes I think they feel it is beneath them to play this game.

but geez marie, this is politics.

Exguru said...

The GOP is very much the best at timing its expenditures, and waiting until they can see the whites of the eyes. That's one reason we prevailed in '04 despite Kerry's large advantage in money.
If Republicans had any sense they would repeal McCain-Feingold right now, and unhorse George Soros. Despite the futility of their people and arguments, Dems can be dangerous in '06 and '08 with a large enough cash advantage. Every additional four years of Limbaugh and Fox News helps a lot, however, and we are now a clear majority of the voters.

Rick Ballard said...

What would be the benefit of broadcasting good news to the Demsm? The Reps have ceded the Demsm coverage and are focused on talk radio. I don't listen to it but I would imagine the positive side would be expressed there, although not my bit about the dough.

I don't read Kristol, I've never noticed that he provides any insight into politics whatsoever. I understand that his parents are very intelligent.

Real politics approximates real battles. Logistics is determinant. Low levels of dough for political parties are like lack of ammo for armies. Two thirds of the money for this campaign is yet to be raised by both parties. Right now the Reps have on hand 37% of the total raised (including House and Senate campaign funds) while the Dems have retained 32%. Put another way, of the total cash on hand for both parties, the Reps have 63% to the Dems 37%. Again, as in battle, offense costs more than defense. It will require a significant change in a factor able to generate genuine fear for the Dems to have any success.


I believe that you are factoring in 527 money which is very hard to measure. Remember too that we got the union soft money out - I really do believe that a portion of the Dems current spending is replacing that soft money. The other factor which is difficult to measure in monetary terms is the cash value of the Demsm propaganda. Still, contributions are a very important measure of electoral support and the Reps have a helluvan edge.

I like your "whites of their eyes" analogy. It's true.