Andrew Romanoff’s Very Odd Fundraising Announcement

The campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff announced fundraising numbers from Q1 late Tuesday evening. Take a look at Romanoff’s campaign press release, which we have printed in full below, and see if you notice something missing:

Romanoff Leads All Senate Candidates in Contributions from Coloradans

AURORA, CO—Andrew Romanoff today announced that his Senate campaign received nearly 3,000 contributions in just seven weeks, more than all the other Senate candidates, including Cory Gardner. Romanoff for Colorado is rejecting contributions from political action committees (PACs).

“This is what a grassroots campaign looks like,” said Campaign Chair Tara Trujillo. “We built more support in Colorado, and in less time, than the sitting senator, and we did it without a dime of PAC money.

“Our campaign is powered by people, not by special-interest groups. Our focus on expanding access to health care, protecting the environment, and improving public education is clearly resonating with Coloradans in all corners of the state.”

Key facts about the Colorado Senate race, based on the data available in the first-quarter FEC reports:

♦ In just seven weeks, Andrew received nearly 3,000 contributions—more than all the other candidates.

♦ Andrew’s contributions came almost entirely from Colorado: 90% —vs. 31% for Sen. Gardner.

♦ Andrew received more than eight times as many contributions from Colorado as Sen. Gardner.

♦ Sen. Gardner took in $694k in PAC money. Andrew accepted 0.

♦ Andrew raised more money from small donors (under $200) than all the other candidates.

If you need another hint, try this question: How much money did Romanoff raise in Q1?

Look, we get that Romanoff’s campaign wants to highlight its strengths — total contributions, Colorado-based contributions, and small donor contributions — but if you don’t include a total amount raised, the obvious takeaway is that you don’t feel confident about your fundraising numbers.

Andrew Romanoff

And what were those numbers? According to figures available via the Federal Election Commission, Romanoff’s campaign raised $500,965 in Q1 and ended the period with $448,611 cash on hand. This isn’t a great fundraising period for Romanoff, particularly in comparison with Democrat Mike Johnston ($1.8 million) and incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner ($2 million), but it isn’t a Crisanta Duran-like disaster.

According to the FEC, only 30 Senate candidates in the entire country raised more than $500k in Q1. Romanoff is the last name on that list, sure, but he’s still in the game (unlike, say, Democrat Trish Zornio, who has less than $37,000 in the bank).

The biggest concern for Romanoff’s campaign isn’t his fundraising totals or his cash-on-hand amount — it’s the fact that he is so completely reliant on small donors. It’s certainly noble of Romanoff to be focused on small-dollar fundraising, but ultimately the math just doesn’t work in a crowded Democratic Primary.

If Romanoff was already the Democratic nominee, he could perhaps tap into a nationwide network of small donors to boost his totals; that’s not really an option with so many other candidates — namely the Presidential hopefuls — already drinking from the same spigot. Without bigger checks to balance his fundraising totals, Romanoff’s campaign is going to run dry sooner than later.

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  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Andrew will be just fine, Pols.  Every one of those bullet points are credible arguments for his candidacy.  

  2. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    I'm with MichaelBowman on this one — $500,000 in a quarter is enough to get started. And wasn’t the analysis earlier this morning that none of the current candidates will threaten any of your top two tiers anytime soon?

    I'm more interested in cash on hand or burn rate among the Democrats in the race.  When it gets to the general and there is a one-on-one contest with the current occupant, I suspect money isn't going to be the determining factor.

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