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April 15, 2016 01:57 PM UTC

Nothing But Crickets on Fundraising Report Deadline

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Numbers now coming in (summarized by the Denver Post) , and it’s not looking good for “insider pick” Jon Keyser at all:

Graham’s campaign said Friday that he raised about $341,000 and enters the homestretch of the GOP primary with about $942,000 cash-on-hand — a warchest that was inflated by a $1 million loan from Graham, a political newcomer who once served as CSU’s athletic director…

Keyser, a former state lawmaker, will report about $300,000 raised in the first quarter with about $200,000 cash-on-hand. He loaned his campaign $100,000.

Without question this tiny haul for Keyser is very bad news for his campaign. A powerful Q1 for Keyser was the one only thing everyone was looking for to elevate him above the pack of Senate candidates, because he’s been a pretty poor candidate in every other aspect. Having to loan his campaign 100k just to get close to Jack Graham’s total won’t get that done. This underwhelming fundraising performance for Keyser is great news for Graham, Darryl Glenn, and Ryan Frazier, who can all spin it as a big victory over the GOP establishment.


YodaCricketsToday is April 15th, which is normally the deadline for submitting your taxes; but because the 15th falls on a Friday, you have until Monday the 18th to finish your frantic search for deductibles.

Unfortunately for those Coloradans running for political office, there is no extension for submitting Q1 fundraising reports, which are due today. Congressional candidates should be submitting their reports electronically to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but Senate campaigns often choose to mail their fundraising reports to gain a few extra days before they become publicly available.

We should know by early next week how the fundraising numbers stack up in various high-profile races in Colorado, and as we wrote in late March, Q1 numbers could absolutely make or break some of the campaigns for U.S. Senate. But the complete lack of information (thus far) on potential fundraising outcomes for the first quarter of 2016 send a rather obvious signal that none of the Republican Senate candidates are particularly confident about their numbers. 

It is fairly common for big statewide campaigns to announce fundraising numbers on their own timeframe, and in years past we would have heard some of these numbers by now as the campaigns announce them with a chest-beating press release. Frankly, we can’t remember a comparable time in which none of the challengers in a big race announced their quarterly results early. Friday afternoons are always good days to dump bad political news (particularly when they land on the eve of a potential snowstorm), so we’re definitely keeping an eye out for any announcements today that attempt to float under the radar.

For an idea of what to expect, here’s a quick rundown of the five GOP Senate candidates (you can go back to our earlier fundraising post for more details):


Jack Graham

Really, Really Needs: About another $1 million from Q1, through some combination of donations and his own checkbook.
D’Oh!: If Graham doesn’t show significant support from contributors, the “self-funder” label may be tough for him to shake.


Jon Keyser

Really, Really Needs: $2 million from Q1. Fundraising is the ONLY measuring stick for Keyser right now, so he absolutely needs to hit a home run.
D’Oh!: Less than $1 million will indicate a sinking ship.


Robert Blaha

Really, Really Needs: At least another $1 million in the bank. The word “million” is the key here, because media outlets would then report that there are two millionaire self-funders in the race.
D’Oh!: Hard to say, given the possibility that Blaha’s campaign is largely supported by SuperPACs or issue committees. We know Blaha won’t be hurting for cash, but anything short of $500k in contributions will cast doubts on his level of support.


Ryan Frazier

Really, Really Needs: Frazier has to show that he has at least $500k in the bank after discounting whatever he had to pay for signature gathering.
D’Oh!: A fundraising quarter consisting of only a few hundred thousand dollars may stick a fork in his campaign, depending on how much money he spent on petition gathering.


Darryl Glenn

Really, Really Needs: Glenn didn’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting petition signatures, but his warchest was pretty hollow at the end of 2015. We would guess that most of Glenn’s bigger donations have come in the aftermath of his April 9th victory at the State Republican Convention, and those checks won’t be counted on the Q1 report. In other words, it’s hard to put a number down for Glenn, because fundraising undoubtedly picked up this week.
D’Oh!: Glenn needs to either show that he has more than $100k in the bank or is picking up a lot of coin in the aftermath of the convention. He’ll have trouble explaining a Q1 haul that doesn’t surpass six figures.


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