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February 03, 2014 01:21 PM UTC

Colorado Republicans Post Historically Bad Fundraising Numbers

  • by: Colorado Pols
Ken Buck, Amy Stephens
How do you know when your fundraising numbers are bad? When you’re being compared to Mike Miles.

We've been talking about Q4 (2013) fundraising numbers for Colorado's U.S. Senate candidates, but the stunningly-poor quarter turned in by the three leading GOP contenders (Ken Buck, Owen Hill, Amy Stephens) is difficult to fully appreciate without looking at comparisons.

We looked at fundraising numbers for (serious) Senate candidates in Colorado, considering only the 18 months prior to Election Day, and the comparisons are pretty incredible. In the chart below, we outline the 10 worst fundraising quarters for U.S. Senate candidates since 2000.

The numbers speak for themselves: Buck, Hill and Stephens just turned in 3 of the worst fundraising quarters in the last decade. All told, the GOP triumverate are responsible for 5 of the 10 worst fundraising quarters in 13 years:

1 Mike Miles (D) Q3 2003 $28,201
2 Mike Miles (D) Q4 2003 $33,877
3 Ken Buck (R) Q4 2009 $45,585
4 Amy Stephens (R) Q4 2013 $51,000
5 Mike Miles (D) Q1 2004 $56,701
6 Mike Miles (D) Q2 2004 $88,576
7 Tom Wiens (R) Q2 2010 $99,962
8 Owen Hill (R) Q4 2013 $109,000
9 Ken Buck (R) Q4 2013 $154,109
10 Ken Buck (R) Q3 2009 $159,074

Here's one more amazing comparison as you ponder the GOP's money woes: Republican Rep. Mike Coffman actually SPENT more money in Q4 than any GOP candidate for Senate was able to fundraise.


58 thoughts on “Colorado Republicans Post Historically Bad Fundraising Numbers

  1. Incumbern Udall raised over 1 Mill in the 4th Q and has raised over 4 Mill in total.

    In 2009 4th Q Incumbent Bennet raised over 1 mill in 4th Q had had raised over 4 mill in total.

    Let me help you, they are incumbents.

    In Q3 2010 Buck raised more money than Bennet.  In Q3 2014 whoever the Republican nominee is will raise more than Udall.

    These numbers are only important relative to the Republican primary, which at this point seems to be largely over.

    1. In Q3 2014 whoever the Republican nominee is will raise more than Udall.

      That may be true, but the "cash on hand" advantage will squarely be in favor of Udall. That 4 mil you pointed out? That's money in the bank. Udall doesn't have to spend it now, where as the GOP candidates have to. 

      1. I think the nature of this election, with the nationalization caused by Obamacare etc, both parties will spend heartily and the messages will go forth unhindered by financial constraint.

        1. I think regardless of the legislation at the national level, Colorado would be one of the states Republicans want to target and Democrats are eager to defend.

          As I posted in the Open Thread, this is the year for Republicans. They need a six seat pickup in the Senate if they want to hold anything close to majority power in the future. Of course, they'll still have to fight President Obama's veto pen and the prospect of a more difficult 2016 election, but at least they'd gain (more) control over the appointment process for a couple of years, and the ability to put lots of objectionable bills in front of Obama in cooperation with the House.

          1. This is the only year that Republicans can make gains. The year 2016 and 2018 are going to be extremely difficult for the Republicans make gains. If they lose some seats in 2014, expect them to lose it all in the next four years.



    2. Bennet and Udall were winners. Buck was loser. I think that's kind of important. When's the last time your side elected a Republican Senator in Colorador, now? Bottom line, the next time won't be 2014.

    3. The Republicans are doomed to lose big in 2014. Scandals after scandals including Bridgegate as well as the debt ceiling limit "negotiations" – when the Dem line is staying firm. Rinse and repeat 6 months later when the debt ceiling issue is at hand, then when America sees that they aren't getting their cash, then Republicans will have no-one to blame but themselves and voted out.


  2. Mark Udall was not an incumbent in 2008. Ken Salazar was not an incumbent in 2004. Michael Bennet was not a true incumbent in 2010 because he had not been previously elected to the Senate — only appointed.

    Besides, being a challenger does not automatically mean you will be a poor fundraiser. Republicans have had candidates who were also good at raising money — but Buck, Hill and Stephens are not among them.

    1. Nice spin Pols.  

      Bennet was a sitting Senator in Q4 2009.  

      Udall was a sitting Senator in Q4 2013.

      People in DC give money to sitting Senators for access and votes which is why they have an initial financial advantage and are usually reelected.  Usually they don't lie and hurt hundreds of thousands of voters, but that is another story.

      1. You're avoiding what the Dead Guvs are pointing out: of all the major party candidates running in the past decade, this year's GOP candidates turned in three of the worst 10 quarters overall.

        That's impressive, considering most of the rest of those quarters are held by Mike Miles. That's out of a minimum of 17 quarters with two candidates each (34 samples minimum, and definitely more than that considering Miles and Wiens are both on the list and weren't the party's ultimate choices for those races…)

        1. You know, I couldn't help responding to the guy either but, really, why should we care WTF AC says. He doesn't know WTF he's talking about. Udall will win in 2014 regardless. Bet AC was positive Romney was going to win, too. Heck, he was probably positive that Buck would win last time around. He's the dullest new rightie we've had in ages.

        2. Your avoiding that in the last 4 years third party spending has taken off so a comparison of candidate to candidate resources in a general election is of lesser importance.  There are people already having at it.  Have you seen .  That is money not counted in the equation, but very effective.  There is a reason why Udalls approval rating is about 40% and he likely trails in likely voter polling this far out.

          1. Polling education time: there is no valid likely voter screen this far out from the election. The polling outfits won't apply LV screens until summer (earlier for primaries), because such screening doesn't result in statistically useful samples until the election is closer. This far out, using an LV screen creates unreliable results.

            1. I know that but an "Adult" sample in a non-Presidential year usually uderstates the Republican candidate by 3-4 points.  The latest polling had Udall up by 3-4 points.  My sense is things have gotten worse for him in the last 1-2 months.  Hopefully we get some new polling soon.

              1. All of the polls I've seen are Registered Voter polls. They are the best you get at this point. (Q-poll is generally a few points biased towards Republicans; PPP is one point Republican house bias. Those biases offset in part the LV screen that you're expecting.)

                With multiple Republicans in the race, it's hard to accurately figure the race… It's quite possible that Udall is overrated because polled R's want to make other R candidates look worse in a race. It's also quite possible that Udall is being underrated because voters are more likely to poll against the incumbent until the challenger really gains media attention.

                1. An interesting thing is that in polls that show Udall leading by varying single digits over Rs with the smallest lead over Buck (probably the highest name rec), those polled voted 46% for Romney, 47% Obama, the rest other. Obama won in Colorado by a good deal more than a point so it seems Romney voters were a bit over represented. In any case money follows money and I'm not very worried about Udall winning.

                   Lots of good info at:


                2. I think your suggestion that PPP, considered a Dem house poll,  favors Republicans a stretch.  These are the same guys that called to recall elections but did not release the poll.  I am not aware of anyone that has suggested a Q poll leaning one way or the other.  Both are mostly of interest in comparing same poll to earlier same poll at this point in time to see trends, not absolutes.


                  1. PPP is a Dem connected poll but their results have been quite reliable and close to outcomes. Obama, for instance, won by more, not less than they predicted. Also I am using those facty things. The facty thing is Romney voters were polled at 46% to 47% Obama voters and a one point spread is smaller than the actual spread was in that election. So where's the stretch in what I say those facts may suggest? Why do I keep responding even though I know perfectly well you don't know how any of this works? That's what you really ought to be criticizing me for.

                    1. Actually BC I was responding to PR who made the statement about PPP having a Republican bias.

                  2. The effect is called 'house bias'. It is calculated based on the polling outfit's past polls vs. the actual results of an election (and, when calculating mid-season bias, sometimes against other polls). PPP has had for the past few election cycles around a +1 bias toward Republican candidates. I was wrong, however, about Q-poll. In 2012 they ran an 0.3 Dem bias.

                    The biases tend to shift over time, but PPP has been one of the most consistent in maintaining its slight R bias in its numbers. If you absolutely need to ascribe it to politics, think of it as giving your team something to strive for, or your opponents a false sense of confidence.

                    (BTW, while BC isn't me – and AFAIK I've never met her – she does still offer an informed opinion to the debate.)

              2. Your sense is dead. 

                95% of the Rethuglicans are going to be viewed as nuisance and voted out this year. 

                Gerrymandering or not, Republicans continue to bleed voters daily – by pissing off everyone except for old white men.

          2. You're right about third party money being important but you're ignoring the fact that one primary way third party money judges candidates is through their fundraising ability and the numbers for Buck, Hill and Stephens are abysmally bad for the fourth quarter. Their inability to raise money will make these three suspect in the eyes of third party groups.

              1. Mr. Buck's numbers are not far better than in 2010. At the end of 2010 he had raised $537,314.00. At the end of 2013, his total is $386,985.or $150, 329 less than at this time four years ago.

                One caveat. In 2010, Buck was fundraising for three quarters in 2009 and only for two in 2013. When you average it out, he raised $179,104.60 each quarter in 2009 and in 2013 he is doing slightly better at $193,492.50 per quarter or, put another way, he is averaging $14,387.90 more each quarter in the 2014 election cycle than he did in the 2010 cycle. Along with all the doubts he raised about himself in 2010, that's not enough of an improvement to impress the third party groups.  

                    1. 36, I said his numbers so far are better.  I did not say his numbers are far better.  I was comparing his Q4 to Q4 where he pulled in 100K more this time.

            1. Also, it seems like many third party Republican PACs are in a bit of a fundraising slump right now, as is the RSCC. This is partly a side-effect of the internal GOP battle between establishment and Tea Party; it's also due in part to two of the top GOP donors dying last year…

              I expect much of this money will eventually find its way to Republican coffers, but right now the GOP third party machine seems to be a bit uneven.

                1. Yeah, well, don't forget . . .

                  . . . there's always a Koch or two hiding out somewhere in the woodwork . . .

                  . . . the nice part of being a .0001%er is that:  it really only takes one!!

          3. Third party spending is related to candidate fundraising. This early in the game, fundraising is the proxy that third parties use to gauge candidate support. With the big national organizations budgetting for the fall and preparing to reserve ad time, it's enormously helpful to know which candidate has a reasonable shot at winning.


            It's possible that the GOP field for statewide offices is filled with a bunch of equally stellar candidates such that funders don't want to pick until after the primaries. It's more likely that the big money GOP candidate and third party donors are looking elsewhere for competitive races.

            1. In order of Republican pick up likelihood, this race is somewhere between 6 and 12 as I see it.  Early polling shows it will be tight and there will be plenty of thrid party money on both sides.

              1. If I was a Republican number-cruncher, I wouldn't put this on the top six targets for the year, but if the past two election cycles have taught the GOP anything, they'll put resources in to it just in case one or more of their higher priority targets (or defense points) falls over spectacularly.

              2. How about negative 65 for Republicans.

                Say hello to the new Democratic House. Gerrymandering is a failure when a Republican asshole can't do the people's work.


                  1. Agree but I think it will be averted, if only just barely. And I think Dems will pick up in the House (though I wouldn't go nearly as far as dustpuppy in confidently forecasting a Dem House majority after the 2014 election) and in position for better things all round in 2016.

                    Once you get much past 2016, if the GOTP hasn't reinvented itself demographics will finish the job of making it a minority regional party. It would be nice if we could elect enough Dems in the meantime to keep the Rs from doing too much more damage.

                    1. Maybe I'm projecting too much, but I do believe the Americans are quite tired of the do-nothing Congress and have executed a full blame against the Republicans and its Tea Party ilk. 

                      Americans are going to want to shed morons from the halls of Congress, and the idea is to get every Democratic challenger so no Republican can go "smooth sailing" – in other words, unchallenged. I realize that gerrymandering has made that nearly impossible, but you have to remember, gerrymandering only works if the Republicans actually do the people's job (not the 1%'ers) and right now, Republicans are enjoying their lowest confidence in terms of voters record in recent history. 

                      I think a lot of Republicans will be thrown out even if they lie to them and say that they'll give you $50,000 and a free pony.


                    2. I appreciate your enthusiasm, dustpuppy, but gerrymandering does work and plenty of people, as President Obama noted, believe stuff because Fox et al tell them so. That said, stuff happens. We could get lucky, planets could align and stupid GOTP candidates could out do themselves in the stupid dept. It's happened before.

                    3. IMHO gerrymandering and ongoing voter suppression in states where the GOP now holds sway will delay any large-scale takeover by Democrats. We'll probably pick up seats in the next House, but not a majority.

                      By 2020, though… I see Bill Crist winning in Florida, and I see Corbett losing in Pennsylvania. Ohio and Texas are less sure, but they're also in play for 2020. Each of those states has some serious gerrymandering, and each would be a hard loss for the GOP. Democrats (I hope) learned their lesson about losing state level decennial elections in 2010.

    1. The Party of Hate© can't even afford TV ads much less than radio ads if their fundraising has hit a snag. I heard Rove's PAC has earned only 6 million for all of last year. And two of their usual billionaires have already passed away and their spawns aren't interested (good for them!) in pushing more bullshit & lies.


      1. They'll have money for ads. Don't kid yourself that 2014 is going to be smooth sailing for Dems. Always remember that the majority of voters are low info voters. Not to say we've got no shot at stuff like keeping the Senate or even taking the House. Just that seeing it as easy because the GOTP's failings must be so obvious to everyone isn't realistic. Reality lies somewhere between what me worry and we're doomed. 

        1. Yes, but those low info voters vote with their wallet.

          Plus, the Republicans doesn't want you to know there's a little provision on PPACA (Obamacare for A.C.) that helps them register to vote under Motor Voter Act. It helps people get registered to vote.

          That was partly one of the many reasons they wanted to defund PPACA.

          1. You mean the low info voters who were sure that Obama had raised their taxes when their taxes had actually been lowered, as their returns should have made clear to them, because that's what the righties told them? The ones who thought the Rs were on their side when it was the Ds who gave them the payroll tax break, the only tax break the Rs opposed? The one they lost through compromise with the Rs? The Joe Six packs who were convinced the CEO class was looking out for them by crushing unions and giving them the "right" to work for take it or leave it less?  That it was little welfare queens, not huge corporate welfare kings, who were to blame for all of their problems? 

            First they'd have to understand what's affecting their wallet. For decades they've been manipulated by the guns, God and gays issues, racist and ethnic fear mongering, left over cold war fear of anything the right manages to label "socialist" and jingoistic we're number one pep talks, while we fall well away from number one in category after category, into voting against their own economic interests. Don't overestimate how much that's changed.  

            You're also talking about voters who have couldn't name their Congress person or Senator, much less state Reps and Senators, to save their lives so they certainly have no idea who voted for what. People who not only don't know who their SOS is but what an SOS is. People who poll for background checks and oppose the laws that enact the because they don't know what's in them. If you don't believe me volunteer for a campaign and go canvassing some time. It's a real eye opener for those of us who pay attention to politics and assume other people do too. 

            Check out  Real Clear Politics for polls and poll averages. All the biggies and some smaller polls are there every day. For a long time the generic congressional preference polls showed a very small but consistent percentage advantage for Dems. Right now all the polls and the polling average show a s tiny advantage for Rs. Yep. That's right. Of course generic polls often don't reflect exactly how people will vote where their own Congress person is concerned but what these close polls show is that there is no mass movement toward favoring Dems in congress. Yet. So premature chicken counting would be a mistake. 

    2. What I don't understand is why he is not spending it now.  Is he waiting for his approval ratings to hit the 30's?  

      Right now he is becoming a joke and needs to rehabilitate himself pronto.

      1. We appreciate your unpaid troll concern. Money will be spent closer to election because too much money spent early in our extemely short attention span culture may as well be flushed down the toilet. Which you would know if you were someone who knew WTF you were talking about. There I go again, wasting my time responding to you. Gotta stop that.wink

        1. I may have gotten lost in the thread. Above remark assuming you're speaking of Udall. The bit about you not knowing WTF you're talking about stands regardless.

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