Spend It If You’ve Got It

According to “Hotline” (subscription required), Sen. Michael Bennet had one of the hottest burn rates in the country in Q1:

Spent Most In 1stQ

McMahon ($4.82M), McCAIN ($3.06M), LINCOLN ($2.00M), Rubio ($1.83M), Fiorina ($1.66M), Lowden ($1.58M), Binnie ($1.54M), BENNET ($1.31M) [Pols emphasis], REID ($1.03M), Toomey ($1.03M)

Ordinarily we’d tell a cautionary tale about spending so much money so early in a race, but like anything else involving fundraising, a burn rate is all relative compared to what’s happening with your opponents.

Bennet spent more money in Q1 than anyone else in the race (except for Jane Norton) has raised in total. That’s the luxury you have when you put in the time and effort required for raising money. Bennet still has about $3 million more in his warchest than anyone else; hell, you could add up the cash on hand amounts of the other four candidates combined and still not come close to what Bennet has in the bank.

Bennet’s burn rate is so high in large part because he’s already gone up on TV with three different commercials, so he’s not exactly pulling a Scott Gessler and pissing it all away (although Bennet’s commercials haven’t exactly been genius-level, either).

Bennet’s fundraising has afforded his campaign the luxury of being on TV when the rest of the field has to be saving every dollar for July, and that is part of a point we have been making here for months: It’s not necessary for the other candidates to raise more money than Bennet in order to beat him, but they still need to stay in the general vicinity. And that hasn’t happened just yet.

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36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Laughing Boy says:

    …he spent it on those totally awesome and effective TV commercials.

    Keep ’em coming, Michael – they ROCK!

    • redstateblues says:

      Considering that awesome caucus night performance.

    • BlueCat says:

      The purpose of TV is to build name recognition. Knocking on doors as a volunteer for various campaigns, I soon realized how common it was for people to have no idea who their reps and senators were, even among those who had voted in the past several elections, much less the names of those who were running in the election at hand. The reason there is such a strong correlation between spending and success in high office elections is because of the cost of TV and the fact that lots of TV means your name will at least ring a bell come election time.

      Bennet’s ads may be dull but so far haven’t featured any out of state peaks, the wrong end of a horse in close proximity to the candidates face or anything that has made headlines for being blatantly false or offensive.  Therefore, they are helping to get the job done and there can be plenty more, including some that might have a bit more pizzazz, because of Bennet’s fundraising prowess.  I’d put a hold on the happy dancing if I were you.

  2. redstateblues says:

    In all of 2009, Bennet spent a total of $1.3 million, and still had an ending COH of $3.2 million.

    http://www.fec.gov/DisclosureS

    So, if he raised $1.4 million, but spent $1.3, that still puts him at over what he had in COH ending 2009.

    Ergo, NBD.

  3. Outrider says:

    but also for the general.  Bennet needs to generate higher level name i.d. and I suspect his current commercials have a two-fold purpose.  That’d be shoring things up as much as possible for the caucuses and the state assembly (where I’d be surprised if Romanoff doesn’t get top line), but also raising name i.d. for the long haul.  So the “burn rate” is not just for the primary and local events leading up to it if you accept that view.  

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Bennet has never attacked Romanoff in his ads or done anything that will hurt in November.  Thus, his ads not only help him in the primary, they build toward November.  If you have the cash, that’s the way to spend it.

  4. Reality Czech says:

    I know it seems easy to say that Bennet is spending all this on TV, but his ads didn’t start running until after caucus.  That might be a few hundred thousand he spent before April 1st on TV, but that would be about a million that he spent otherwise.  A million dollars to lose the caucus?

    I remember some Bennet supporters on here saying there was no way he spent over a million q1, and now this comes out showing he actually spent quite a bit more.

    In other words, Bennet spent almost every penny he raised in Q1.  

  5. bud says:

    It wouldn’t make any sense to hold off on reporting a great quarter of fundraising, but you can speculate.  Others have talked about AR’s pooly run campaign.

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