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May 06, 2014 11:12 AM UTC

Statewide Candidates Q1 (2014) Fundraising: Winners, Losers, and Disasters

  • by: Colorado Pols
Gov. John Hickenlooper.
How big is Gov. Hickenlooper’s fundraising lead over Republicans?

Fundraising reports for all Colorado statewide candidates are now available, and as we do every quarter, we break down the numbers in our handy chart and provide some context with Winners, Losers, and (our newest category) Disasters. We took an early look at the numbers as they trickled in late yesterday, but below we break down those fundraising figures in greater detail. Before we do that, however, a few key takeaways from Q1:

Gov. John Hickenlooper has more cash on hand ($1.65 million) than every Republican statewide candidate combined. The sum total for all 7 Republicans still running for statewide office comes to a meager $934,218.

– The Republican frontrunner for Governor, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, refuses to participate in debates and spent more money than he raised for the second straight quarter.

Mike Kopp is cooked. The top vote-getter at the GOP State Convention followed up a weak first quarter as a candidate with very similar numbers in the first quarter of 2014. Just as Dan Maes discovered in 2010, winning top-line through the caucus process does very little to get the attention of Republican donors.

Polling results from late April suggest that Governor John Hickenlooper is pulling away from the Republican field of challengers, and the first fundraising report of 2014 confirms strong momentum for Hick. The Governor now has $1.65 million in the bank, or 5 times as much cash on hand as the entire Republican field; if you add up the cash on hand numbers of the 4 GOP candidates, you get a very unimpressive $319,165.

Don Quick

Democrat Don Quick had a sluggish start to his campaign, spending most of 2013 just trudging around the state with little excitement generated in his wake. But in late 2013, Quick found a new day job that gave him more opportunity to fundraise, and the change has worked. In the last quarter, Quick almost doubled his fundraising total from Q4 2013. With Republican Cynthia Coffman spending most of her warchest in advance of the April 12 Republican Assembly, Quick now has a 4-1 lead in cash on hand. Democrat Betsy Markey also got the strong quarter she needed after a very weak Q4. Markey is never going to be able to compete with Republican Walker Stapleton on the fundraising front, but her $189k in the bank keeps her on track to be competitive in the fall. Stapleton also had another strong quarter — though not by his standards — and his Q1 report doesn't include what should be a sizable haul from a fundraiser with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

And finally, Tom Tancredo deserves a spot in both the Winners and Losers section. Tancredo did not have an impressive Q1 by any definition, but the other three GOP candidates for Governor did nothing to make that an issue; Tancredo doesn't need a lot of cash if his opponents can't fundraise worth a crap, either.

Cynthia Coffman
Will dress funny for campaign money.

For the second quarter in a row, Republican Tom Tancredo spent more money than he raised. This kind of burn rate would be scary were the rest of the GOP field for Governor even halfway competent, but Tancredo still falls into the Loser category for letting a big opportunity slip away. If Tancredo had finished Q1 with stronger cash on hand numbers, he might have cemented the Republican nomination.

Bob Beauprez has barely been a candidate for Governor for two months now, and he paid (literally) for his late entry into the Republican field. Beauprez had only a couple of weeks to gather the requisite signatures required to make the Primary ballot, and the effort was expensive; Beauprez spent some $320k in about 6 weeks, and most of that likely went toward paid signature gatherers. It's also worth noting that Beauprez loaned his campaign $220k, rather than writing a check as a "donation," which indicates that Beauprez may not be willing (or able) to self-fund to a significant degree.

Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman (at right) may not have to worry about a Republican Primary with state Rep. Mark Waller any longer, but she has a lot of ground to make up on Don Quick in the fundraising department. Coffman's nearly year-long campaign against Waller has left her with just $58k in the bank.

Former Sen. Mike Kopp (R).
I’m Mike Kopp, and I approve any message that doesn’t cost too much money.

The entire Republican field for Governor belongs here, but Q1 was only a true disaster for one candidate: Mike Kopp. Even after winning top-line at the GOP State Convention (in a bit of a surprise), and with former U.S. Senators Hank Brown and Bill Armstrong behind his campaign, Kopp just can't raise money. Kopp has the lowest name recognition of the four gubernatorial candidates, which means he needs to raise money at a greater clip than Tancredo, Beauprez, and Gessler. Kopp can't count on the same level of support that he saw at the State Convention — particularly since he didn't have to worry about Tancredo or Beauprez at the time — so he absolutely must have a robust TV ad buy if he hopes to win in June. With less than $34k in the bank, Kopp doesn't have enough time to make that happen.

For the complete breakdown of fundraising numbers for all statewide candidates, check out the chart after the jump.

John Hickenlooper (D) Governor $970,616 $344,954 n/a $1,651,611
Tom Tancredo (R) Governor $283,914 $291,798 n/a $111,160
Bob Beauprez (R) Governor $223,874 $319,987 $220,000 $118,399
Scott Gessler (R) Governor $122,367 $179,224 n/a $55,638
Mike Kopp (R) Governor $105,313 $118,184 n/a $33,968
Don Quick (D) Attorney General $91,278 $39,724 n/a $206,261
Cynthia Coffman (R) Attorney General $58,826 $71,578 n/a $58,138
Walker Stapleton (R) Treasurer $153,339 $76,255 n/a $511,072
Betsy Markey (D) Treasurer $138,001 $42,982 n/a $189,325
Joe Neguse (D) Secretary of State $81,194 $27,840 n/a $150,108
Wayne Williams (R) Secretary of State $60,736 $23,467 n/a $45,843


14 thoughts on “Statewide Candidates Q1 (2014) Fundraising: Winners, Losers, and Disasters

      1. You're half right. As I said, Republican fundraising will kick up once the primary is settled. There's not a clear frontrunner yet, but I believe it will be Gessler once the voters get serious about picking a winner. Gessler is the only candidate who can win.

        I'm relived to see that Kopp was just a fluke. Word is that Beauprez and Tanc had their delegates vote Kopp to hurt Gessler, who otherwise cleaned up at assembly. Won't change the result.

        1. Plus Kim Jong Un's Uncle is apparently alive and well, and reports are he is interested in running for Governor of Colorado.  So although I mostly agree with you Moderatus that Gessler is a total shoo-in, the Republican field will continue to be filled with highly qualified contenders.

        2. I think Moderamus is saying the Koch Bros don’t come in till after the primary – more bang for the buck. Hick’s first commercial will point that out.

          1. He's also ignorant of the fact that once a primary clown is selected by the Republicans, Democrats will be mailing donations to Hickenlooper in droves.  Nothing says "Time to make a donation" like having Tancredo as the opponent.  Post primary is going to be big for Democratic candidates too.

  1. I'll say it again: whoever wins the primary will have the resources to compete against Hickenlooper. There are no Dan Maeses in this race. Don't believe for a minute that this won't be a competitive race.

    Actually, believe what you want.

    1. Mourning Dan Maes ain't gonna' help you one bit, Moddy . . .

      . . . You GOPers are still stuck with whatever clown-car driver gets his license.

    2. Hey – Dan Maes won the top spot for Republicans last time around – that can't be all bad…

      You had best look at those numbers, though, Mod. Hickenlooper outraised the entire Republican field – and he doesn't have an opponent yet. Traditionally, primaries increase campaign intake; the fact that Republicans are having a hard time as a group staying in striking distance of the Governlooper through their primary is not a good sign for them. Worse for Republicans, he's getting a serious head start on general election campaign funds; even if they pooled their money together, they would have less than 1/5th of Hick's cash on hand. And that's including Both Ways' loan money; take it out of the mix and Republicans barely make it to positive numbers.

      1. There is that other often ignored tidbit about Colorado having the 4th best job growth in the nation the last four years compared to Scott Walkers anemic 48th for Wisconsin.

        How are these clowns going to compete when the economy is peaking?  Say bad things about Hick's support for fracking?  It's the economy stupid and the state economy has been humming along since the Beer Baron got elected.  The gap is bigger than money.

    3. Even so, those numbers are anemic. If there was a serious candidate, the money would have flowed in to ensure they won the nomination by scaring the other guys out. That hasn't happened. 

      You can believe all you want as well, but don't believe for a minute that this will be a competitive race. 

    1. He spent $345k – that's not chump change and could buy a decent block of advance TV time. But yeah, he could probably spend a bit more of it. It's not like he has to decide content right now – only market share and timing.

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