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Monthly Archives: September 2009

I don’t understand Jonathan Allen’s CQ article on ActBlue fundraising.

His initial point: candidates who raise a lot of money on ActBlue don’t necessary win their elections. Well, no kidding. Adequate funding is a necessary but by no means sufficient condition for victory. Rob Miller isn’t guaranteed anything, but what he does have now is a solid financial base 14 months out from the election that will allow his campaign to fund critical field and outreach efforts. The next time Joe Wilson screams at someone, chances are good it’ll be from his own district trying to keep his job.

But the rest of the article starts to read like a snub on these candidates and their grassroots donors. He offers an incomplete list of eight losing efforts and two victors. In fact, 12 of our 20 top candidates won their races in 2008 (below).

The final paragraph is the most revealing:

Still, it’s worth wondering whether some of the money could be better invested in candidates who are more likely to win.

Unfortunately, I don’t have that crystal ball. In any case, we’ve long been proud of our diverse fundraising community, many who search out the highest-leverage opportunities for online giving and small dollar contributions, both to win races and to influence the national discussion. If all our candidates won every cycle, we’d be spending money on the wrong races. I’d hate to see that spirit change.

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For the record, here is the complete top-20 list of funds raised by candidates on ActBlue during the 2007-2008 election cycle.

Candidate Result Amount
John Edwards (Pres) Lost $4,136,518.67
Kay Hagan (NC-Sen) WON $2,433,543.55
Rick Noriega (TX-Sen) Lost $1,798,743.98
Jim Martin (GA-Sen) Lost $1,708,812.78
Mark Warner (VA-Sen) WON $1,368,333.13
Dan Seals (IL-10) Lost $1,103,181.09
Barack Obama (Pres) WON $1,068,305.87
Joseph Sestak Jr (PA-7) WON $1,027,375.74
Darcy Burner (WA-8) Lost $764,796.65
Chellie Pingree (ME-1) WON $734,430.77
Scott Kleeb (NE-Sen) Lost $733,965.75
Eric Massa (NY-29) WON $726,732.32
Gary Peters (MI-9) WON $707,713.65
Martin Heinrich (NM-1) WON $663,681.31
Bob Lord (AZ-3) Lost $600,097.26
Steve Novick (OR-Sen) Lost $542,144.71
Jeff Merkley (OR-Sen) WON $536,619.52
Jared Polis (CO-2) WON $514,876.42
Al Franken (MN-Sen) WON $509,006.34
Mark Schauer (MI-7) WON $491,680.04
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