There’s an interesting article up on Daily Kos this week that highlights Marco Rubio’s “fake fundraising” tactic – comparing the candidate to Montana GOPer Ryan Zinke.
“Are you a Republican congressional candidate who wants to look like a fantastic fundraiser without actually doing any of that pesky fundraising?” writes Jeff Singer. If so, the article continues, just do like Zinke does.
Apparently, candidates like Rubio and Zinke have been able to take advantage of how superficially some news outlets report fundraising (to give the impression that they are raking in cash through direct mail appeals), when what never gets reported is that the campaigns in this scheme net very little – indeed, they can even lose money.
During the final three months of 2015, Zinke raised a monster $577,000 but he spent $597,000, leaving him with slightly less money in the bank than he had three months before.
Candidates often count on the fact that some news stories only report how much a campaign raised in a given quarter, without telling us that the candidate, in this case Zinke, actually lost ground. The article goes on to note that even though Zinke is an incumbent in a traditionally red state at the presidential level, Juneau can pull off a win in Montana:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau raised $262,000 during her first quarter in the race, and unlike Zinke, she kept most of it. Juneau trails Zinke $744,000 to $240,000, which isn’t bad for this early in the race. Montana went for Romney 55-42 but the state still elects Democrats to downballot offices (Democratic Sen. Jon Tester won a tough race in 2012 for example), and it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Juneau to pull off a win.
To be sure, Zinke’s campaign is probably hoping we won’t notice these kinds of thing, but with a smart opponent like Juneau, this year, he may not be able to get away with it so easily.