With Colorado 's next Senator making his candidacy official for the 3rd time now, way to earn that press Bob, the media is sure to start talking about Mark Udall's warchest and Schaffer's lack there of. While some will ask how Schaffer can compete when he is already a million down, the question people should be asking is what has Mark Udall been doing the past eight years.
A million in the bank is great in any race, but it's slightly puzzling that it is not more. Udall has not had a competitive race since he ran against Carolyn Cox in 2000, he squeaked by with a 17 point win in that one. Every other race he has won by 20, 30 and even 40%.
If you are winning by 20% there is no need to be on television and if there is no need to be on television then you should be saving $250,000 a pop for a thousand points of air time. So what has Mark Udall been doing with all of that money? According to tray.com he has been raising money, we just don’t know what he does with it once he raises it, cause he sure isn't saving it. In his first race in 98 he raised and spent $1.2 million, in 2000 he raised $1.4 million and spent $1.3 million, in 2002 he got a little more comfortable with his prominence raising $1.1 million and only spending $750k, 2004 nearly the same story as 02 raising $1.1 million and spending $800k, 2006 he really turned up the heat raising $1.5 million but spending over $900k as well.
There is absolutely no need to be spending a million bucks in a race where you know you are gonna win by 20%, and remember that is the low end of his wins. You figure at most you are spending maybe $75k for a staff that operates for one year out of two. Add on to that maybe $50k in radio, $50k in mail and another $25k for miscellaneous and there’s your campaign right there.
Granted he could have gotten away with spending absolutely no money and just having his folks show up at parades and going to debates and so on and he would have still won by close to the same margins. To his credit it is good form to have some presence in an election even if you know the outcome heavily favors you. But a million bucks to win by 40% ????? Ridiculous.
After raising approximately $7.6 million, Udall could have easily banked $6 million of it.
Yes, money will play a huge role in the outcome of the 08 Senate race. Yes, Bob Schaffer is a million dollars down in fundraising. But when you realize that it is gonna take over $10 million to win this race and PAC’s are gonna be throwing the green at you left and right, then that million dollars down doesn’t seem as foreboding.
Udall could have had a huge cash on hand advantage right now, probably enough to clinch the race. Fortunately he does not and this race is gonna be the most competitive in the country.
We can only hope he spends his money in this race as wisely as he has in the past.