Friday, January 20, 2012

Maryland Governor 2014: How Much Does Money Matter? // Attorney General Doug Gansler Way Ahead in Cash Race

How much will fundraising matter in the ~~now-HEATED~~ race for Maryland Governor in 2014? Yesterday, The Washington Post's John Wagner reported the following figures from the theoretical pack of gubernatorial wanna-be's:
Gansler reported nearly $4.1 million cash on hand, more than triple that of other Democrats angling to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) said his report would show $1.3 million in the bank, while a summary released by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) reported more than $810,000 on hand. An aide to Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), another Democrat jockeying to seek his party’s nomination, said late Wednesday night that Franchot has more than $1 million in the bank.
Tom Coale at the HoCo Rising blog today explained one reason why Mr. Gansler has such a commanding lead in fundraising right now. Last time we printed Mr. Coale's comments, they included a --zing!-- aimed at Attorney General Doug Gansler -- but today HoCo Rising noted the = STRENGTH =  of Mr. Gansler's campaign. See an excerpt below:
Despite being over two years out from the primary, yesterday's fundraising numbers were very important in setting the stage for the Dem primary.  Here are some thoughts on what they show....
Gansler ran unopposed in 2010, allowing him to do all of the normal fundraising without having to spend....
After Gansler, the field is tied.  If the GOP National Primary is any indication, no front-runner is safe.  But if political history has told us anything, money follows money.  Doug Gansler will be the prohibitive favorite for becoming the next Governor until some bombshell blows him off the path to victory.  Leading up to yesterday, many had suggested that Anthony Brown was next, followed by a large gap, then Franchot, then another large gap, then Ken Ulman (sorry Ho Co'ers, that's what I was hearing).  Well now it seems the pack behind Gansler is much closer.... But [Anthony Brown] still is the heir apparent until something concrete indicates that the Governor is supporting Ken.

Meanwhile, Peter Franchot is not fighting anyone for his base, although it is yet to be seen where that base is.

Maryland Juice's take on the fundraising numbers is this: We have a long time until the 2014 Democratic Primary. Nevertheless, you must admit that Attorney General Doug Gansler's numbers are both impressive and intimidating, no? Even still, his competitors have over two years to narrow the gap (or get close) -- and a few other factors still matter: 1) issues, 2) endorsements and 3) geography/demography. So far, we have an incomplete picture of how these three factors will play out.  This is a Democratic Primary, after all.

The fundraising reports also finally give clues as to how serious Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is about running for governor. The answer is $1.3 million serious. Interesting.

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