Following up on an item John had yesterday, the NYT noted that the contests in Ohio and Texas are going down to the wire between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with Obama hoping to use a fundraising advantage to deliver a “knock-out blow.” Both sides have the resources, though, to oversee massive campaign operations in both states — in just February, Clinton raised $32 million, while Obama is believed to have taken in at least $50 million.
And, across the aisle, there’s John McCain, who reportedly collected about $12 million in February — the same underwhelming number he raised in January.
Republicans are not oblivious to the problem.
For Republicans, watching Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama fight for supremacy in fundraising is not just a spectator sport. It is a look into the future, and the GOP isn’t cheering.
Obama and Clinton together raked in as much as seven times as much cash in February as John McCain, the all-but-certain Republican nominee.
The Democrats, particularly Obama, are also developing a broad base of fervent donors whose help goes beyond sending money.
Some Republicans are sounding alarms. “Since the midterm election of 2006, Democrats have had an enthusiasm gap with Republicans,” said GOP strategist Scott Reed. “They have big crowds, raise more money and appear to have more excitement on the campaign trail. Couple this with turnout numbers, which are off the charts, and Republicans are going to have a big challenge in the fall.”
Worse, they don’t seem to have any idea what to do about it.
It’s a dynamic Republicans haven’t faced in the modern political era. I couldn’t be more pleased.