(Has somebody communicated this to Cory Gardner? Not that we can see from his anemic Q3 numbers – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Campaign finance reports filed last week confirmed what political watchers have suspected — that the race for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District seat likely will wind up as one of the costliest in the country over the next 13 months.
To help identify some emerging trends, I looked at 10 Democratic-held seats that have found their way in to both parties’ top-tier lists — the DCCC’s Frontline program for incumbents and the NRCC’s Young Guns program for challengers.
For a more detailed analysis, check out my Coloradoan blog here: http://bit.ly/2eJbyY
But here are the quick highlights:
— Of the 10 races nationally that have both Frontline and Young Gun candidates, only New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District has seen more money come in than the $1.3 million raised so far combined by Betsy Markey and Cory Gardner. Democratic incumbent Harry Teague and Republican challenger Steve Pearce have raised a combined $1.4 million. That New Mexico race almost deserves an asterisk because it essentially involves two incumbents. Pearce gave up the seat in 2008 for an unsuccessful Senate bid and Teague then won the open seat for the Democrats.
— Both Markey and Gardner have proven to be strong fundraisers relative to their peers. Only two of the 10 Democratic incumbents on the list have raised more money so far than Markey. Only three of the Republican challengers on the list have raised more money than Gardner. All three ahead of Gardner have had campaign organizations in place for several years. Pearce and Steve Chabot of Ohio are former House members and Steve Stivers of Ohio narrowly lost last year.
— The Northern Colorado candidates have been efficient in raising money, so they have a good amount of money in the bank. Teague is the only Democratic incumbent with more cash on hand than Markey, and Gardner ranks 4th on the list of GOP challengers when it comes to cash on hand. He even comes in ahead of Stivers, despite the Ohioan’s more experienced campaign organization.
— With all that said, Markey has a substantial fundraising lead over Gardner. We’re not talking just normal incumbent advantage here. Only two of the Democratic incumbents on the list have bigger cash-on-hand advantages over their challengers than Markey.