Friday, August 21, 2009
Peter Schiff and Rand Paul: will all the money translate into votes?
By: Ryan Jaroncyk, THL Contributor
Thus far, Peter Schiff's exploratory committee and Dr. Paul's official campaign have raised over $1.5 million. Pretty impressive numbers this early in the game.
On the money bomb front, Peter Schiff raised over $350,000 in a single day on August 7th, and he hasn't even officially announced his candidacy.
Yesterday, Rand Paul raised over $400,000 in his August 20th money bomb. Make no mistake, these guys are going to rake in the cash for their U.S. Senate campaigns. The question is, will all this money turn into actual votes?
We've seen it before. Dr. Ron Paul raised a gargantuan $34 million for his failed presidential bid, setting two one-day Internet fundraising records, but he never won a single primary or caucus, and he averaged less than 10% of the vote. Could we be looking at a similar outcome for Peter Schiff and Rand Paul? Let's hope not.
It would be very interesting to see the number and amount of local donations to Rand and Peter thus far. What percent of the total donations are originating from their own states? Although it is extremely early in the 2010 electoral process, this could serve as a more authentic indicator of their future prospects.
As far as preliminary polling results, Rand Paul surprised many, trailing the establishment candidate by only 11%, a shocking feat for a first time political candidate against Kentucky's Secretary of State, Trey Grayson. But will the fresh infusion of cash slowly begin to close the gap, or will the gap widen as the establishment candidate begins a massive, statewide tour? And let's not forget, Grayson has raised as much, if not more, than Rand thus far.
On Peter Schiff's front, a recent poll showed him close to Chris Dodd, which excited many, but as everyone knows, Chris Dodd is extremely vulnerable to any challenger at this point. More importantly, Schiff is barely registering when matched up against three Republican challengers. To be fair, it is still very early, and Schiff hasn't even officially announced. When he does, it will be interesting to see if he begins to make his presence felt when stacked against his fellow, Republican challengers.
As we learned from Dr. Ron Paul's historic campaign, money isn't everything. Rand and Peter will need to generate local interest, local enthusiasm, and local name recognition in order to upset the political establishment. They will need to move beyond merely "preaching to the choir" and present a positive, concrete vision that can first convert a number of rank and file Republicans, then a substantial portion of Independents and a certain percentage of Democrats.
In other words, don't get too comfortable- we have a lot of work ahead of us!