Is Rossi’s campaign losing momentum? Did it ever have any?

The Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner reports that real estate speculator and Republican senatorial wannabe Dino Rossi “pulled in $1.4 million during his first month in the race.” On the surface, not too shabby. But… technically, it was Rossi’s first five weeks in the race, and if you’re looking at fundraising trends for evidence of voter enthusiasm, let alone the ability of a candidate to compete in the looming air war, that extra week makes quite a difference.

An additional $1.4 million a month from July 1 through November 2 would bring Rossi’s totals to about $7 million, a hair more than Sen. Patty Murray’s current $6.8 million cash on hand, though far short of her $11.5 million total. That said, Sen. Murray has picked up her fundraising pace since Rossi entered the race, hauling in an additional $1.6 million during the recently ended quarter, and, well, it takes money to make money, so a sizable chunk of Rossi’s monthly haul inevitably goes out the door in fundraising costs. Thus, while Rossi is certainly gaining ground on the incumbent — starting from zero, how could he not? —even $1.4 million per month would leave him at a substantial dollar disadvantage.

But Rossi isn’t really hauling in the bucks at a pace of $1.4 million a month, now is he?

Remember, Rossi famously boasted, and the media faithfully reported, that he raised over $600,000 in his first official week of campaigning, the first six days of which actually fell in the month of May. No doubt there was some pent up pro-Rossi excitement… and despite the campaign finance laws, no doubt a bunch of big donors were lined up in advance. But once he picked all the low hanging fruit, Rossi’s fundraising numbers clearly trended down, only bringing in an additional $800,000 during the month of June.

Extrapolate that number over the four remaining months of the campaign, and Rossi only raises $4.6 million total. Then figure in his fundraising costs plus Murray’s future haul, and that’s enough to buy Rossi a race in which he gets himself outspent by a better than two to one margin. Not so hot for a candidate whose name ID and fundraising prowess are his two biggest qualifications.

And according to Real Clear Politics, Rossi’s relatively anemic results are not from lack of trying:

[H]e basically admitted that because he started so late, his campaign organization is currently in a mad dash to cut into Senator Patty Murray’s huge fundraising advantage.

And a mad dash that first week was. Unfortunately for him, a senate campaign is a marathon, and in this and other respects, Rossi’s starting to look awfully damn tired.


  1. 1

    Don't You Think He Looks Tired? spews:

    Prediction: In November we will choose between Patty Murray and Clint Didier. Rossi’s the biggest loser in Washington state politics.

  2. 2

    sarge spews:

    @1. I don’t know. A june 12 poll had:

    Murray 43%
    Rossi 31%
    Didier 5%
    Akers 2%

    I think it will be Rossi vs. Murray. Rossi will be competitive, but he will lose.

  3. 3


    Every minute Rossi spends on his “mad” fundraising is a minute he isn’t spending campaigning.

    For a real, serious Senate campaign, that would be a problem. You wouldn’t be able to disseminate your message, your reasoning, your vision for the state and the nation. But, much like Eyman, Rossi’s underlying motivation is the fundraising itself, not the campaign. Just as Eyman pays vastly more attention to gathering signatures than to trying to win votes for his odious profit-making scams initiatives, so too is Rossi auditioning for the big-money lobbyists that are his “base” instead of offering anyone a reason to vote for him.

  4. 4

    glacierpeaks spews:

    OpenLeft has a table of Senate races up online, and there is a notation that Murray has a primary challenger. Is this correct? I hadn’t heard of that. It was a real disappointment when SEIU endorsed Murray; I’m hoping somebody somewhere takes her on, either within the Democratic party, or without.

  5. 5

    realcandidates spews:

    Murray will likely have to face Didier in November. When you look at a poll that isn’t twisted or contrived, you see this:

    Murray 33.4%
    Didier 16.9%
    Rossi 15.9%
    Akers 6.5%

    source: http://www.washingtonstatepoll.....VEY-01.htm

    Didier is a true populist candidate, fighting for the people (Audit the Fed, end the Patriot Act, end Warrantless Wiretapping, protect small farmers and local food production, etc). He is inspirational and motivational, a true statesman, not a politician.

  6. 6


    glacierpeaks @4:

    OpenLeft has a table of Senate races up online, and there is a notation that Murray has a primary challenger. Is this correct? I hadn’t heard of that. It was a real disappointment when SEIU endorsed Murray; I’m hoping somebody somewhere takes her on, either within the Democratic party, or without.

    Patty has 14 primary challengers.

    Are you actually unaware that Washington uses the ridiculous “top two” primary? That all candidates run in a single primary, and the two highest vote-getters (and only those two) go on to the general election?

    In addition to Patty Murray, the party “preferences” of the candidates are:

    Prefers Republican Party — Norma D. Gruber, Paul Akers, Mike Latimer, Clint Didier, William Edward Chovil, Dino Rossi
    Prefers Centrist Party — Mohammad H. Said
    Prefers Democratic Party — Goodspaceguy, Mike The Mover, Bob Burr, Charles Allen
    States No Party Preference — James (Skip) Mercer, Schalk Leonard
    Prefers Reform Party — Will Baker

    Which of those rogues would you suggest backing as someone to “take her on”?

  7. 7

    uptown spews:

    Some group is running anti-Murray ads, picking on her tennis shoes I think. Didn’t catch the full name or really pay attention – ‘Action’ was in their name though.

  8. 8

    PassionateJus spews:


    That, unfortunately, is a bullshit poll.

    I read through their entire website and it becomes abundantly clear that they are full of BS. #1: They refuse to disclose their crosstabs!

    Without crosstabs we cannot know their methodology and therefore their polls are worthless.

  9. 9

    PassionateJus spews:


    Saw the ad. It was completely ineffective.

    They don’t even list any votes she made or back up any of their claims.

    And when you do go to their awful and ugly website you have to click around to find the “meat” behind what they are saying — and it’s mostly about her favoring EPA regulations and opposing tax cuts for the rich.

    Those arguments aren’t going to work in a year with the middle class suffering and the BP oil disaster.

  10. 10

    glacierpeaks spews:

    N, that was my point exactly, concerned that we don’t have any credible choices. I was excited when OpenLeft seemed to imply that she had an intraparty challenger.

    I hope I don’t have to vote Republican just to get her out.

    We really need something like the WFP in this state.

  11. 13


    glacierpeaks @10:

    N, that was my point exactly, concerned that we don’t have any credible choices. I was excited when OpenLeft seemed to imply that she had an intraparty challenger.

    I hope I don’t have to vote Republican just to get her out.

    We really need something like the WFP in this state.


    Let me guess … in 2006 you backed Mark Wilson and then shifted to Hong Tran.

    Patty Murray stands (at least) head-and-shoulders above the sum of her 14 “opponents” — pretty good for someone so short. She has been an excellent advocate for our state and a solid voice for good government in our nation. In addition, she has risen to a very powerful position within the Democratic caucus in the Senate (has any other woman ever reached that high a place in the Senate hierarchy?). Having her in that position is good for Washington, and having her in that position is good for the country.

    PS., if you’re talking about this WFP, I’d bet you dollars to doughnuts that they would endorse Patty without reservation. And that the WFP has never elected anyone to Congress or statewide office, except as an add-in for a Democratic candidate. Perhaps they’ve elected city officials somewhere without joining another party in the endorsement — I don’t know, and can’t find anything saying so on their website.

    To say nothing of the way Washington’s craptastic primary prevents a third-party candidate from ever getting elected to anything.

  12. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    “Mike the Mover” is STILL running for office????

    He makes Rossi and Pope look positively successful in comparison (no offense intended, Richard). That guy’s been running for office for what – 30 years or so now, without getting elected? I’m thinking that he counts the voter education guide as part of his company’s advertising budget.

  13. 15

    glacierpeaks spews:

    N, she voted against the Sanders bill that would have capped credit card rates at roughly 15%. Its failure allows credit card companies to keep charging sky high interest rates to you, me, and people who unfortunately have to fall back on credit cards for financing unemployment, college, health bills, etc. Now if you’re like me, this doesn’t really impact you directly…except that when you multiply the these higher payments by millions of card holders, you realize that we are sapping consumer purchasing power, and directing those funds to large Wall Street banks. So I object to her position on this for both moral and economic reasons (although I admire her courage: not many Democratic politicians of the past would have taken a stand on behalf of usury).

    She also voted against drug importation, which means that millions of people are paying higher prices for their health care. Again, not only does that impact the poor, senior citizens, working families, etc but all of us as income that could sparking additional purchases is instead diverted to PHARMA.

    She explicitly took this action, as you point out, as someone who is a three-term Senator from a blue state, number four in the caucus leadership, and of a party that is enjoying its largest majorities since the late 1970s….on two bills that I’m sure would enjoy wide support from Washingtonians.

    If we can’t count on someone who is that safe, at that level of leadership, with that level of inherent institutional support, to vote affirmatively on two popular bills that directly impact the well-being of working families and, really, all Americans…

    …then why is she there?

  14. 16

    Rujax! spews:

    Didier’s a buffoon but I’m voting for the Clint-ster in the primary to fuck with the Dino-Sore.

  15. 17


    glacierpeaks @15,

    I agree with you on most of those specific issues. The drug importation bill (poor Byron Dorgan, I sometimes think that that particular experience is what led him to decide against another term) was particularly galling, as it pandered directly to Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg’s fealty to the Big Pharma outfits that line the NJ Turnpike.

    But on a thousand other issues, Patty votes the right way, pushes for needed amendments. In that respect, she’s infinitely better for us than anyone else who could possibly be elected to the Senate from the entire state of Washington (not just Seattle).

    Which isn’t to say that we don’t have a bench. However, no Democrat in his or her right mind would challenge Patty Murray as long as she wants to stay in office. She isn’t a Blue Dog in any way shape or form … in terms of electability, Patty is already a “better Democrat”.

    If you don’t see that politics requires compromise, that you’ll sometimes disagree with even the best elected officials, then you’re just an example of “the perfect is the enemy of the good”. Or, in DailyKos terms, a “purity troll”.

  16. 18



    “Mike the Mover” is STILL running for office????

    He makes Rossi and Pope look positively successful in comparison (no offense intended, Richard). That guy’s been running for office for what – 30 years or so now, without getting elected? I’m thinking that he counts the voter education guide as part of his company’s advertising budget.

    Of course.

    Can you think of any better way to get your company’s name in front of 3 million Washingtonians, twice (ballot and voters’ guide), for a mere $1740? You also get free TV air time, albeit on TVW.

    I don’t think Mike makes any bones about it. This is, and always has been, advertising.

  17. 19

    glacierpeaks spews:

    A law banning usury is too radical? Is that what you are suggesting? Or that there is no deep and broad public support for lowering drug costs, by this specific measure? Compromise, when you have the largest majorities in over a generation, is that what you are recommending?

    I’m not sure what you consider “normal”, if (in the case of usury) we can’t even re-instate laws that were on the books until the ’80s, that are common in other countries, that would enjoy the wide popular support, that would directly improve America’s economy at a time it is needed most, in part by helping those in society who need it most, by a person who has been in office for 18 years, won re-election by double-digits, is fourth in the caucus leadership of a Senate chamber that has a larger majority-of either party-than there has been in over 30 years?

    What would you not compromise on?

    And how is she compromising by voting against it? As a person who is fourth in leadership? That doesn’t like “compromise” to me, it should sounds like she is aiding and abetting the opposition.

  18. 20

    Chris Stefan spews:

    You know you could always ask her office why she voted agaist those bills. It may be there was a perfectly valid reason. Besides she’s in the leadership and sometimes that requires “taking one for the team”.

    Frankly I get rather sick of the purity tell nonsense directed against Murray and Cantwell. They are both more liberal than but a handful of senators. They certainly are more liberal than the current or previous governor. Sure someone like Insley might be even more liberal, but he isn’t going to run unless one of the current senators retires or is defeated by a Republican. You may be happy with that outcome but frankly I don’t want to suffer through 6 years or more of being represented by some crazy wingnut asshole.

  19. 21

    glacierpeaks spews:

    As long as you’re fine with voting for someone who ensured that we all pay higher interest rates on our credit cards, then that’s certainly your right.

    And if the availability/high cost of medicine is not really an issue that resonates for you, then again, you’ve definitely got yourself a candidate.

    What I’m curious about is this: what defines “purity”? It’s a valid question, because it seems like we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel if basic things like banning usury or lowering drug costs (simply by allowing their importation) are considered hopelessly purist.

    Of course, I suppose none of us are “orthodox” in our opinions…and a little moderation can be warranted.

    But I have a hard time understanding where the line is for some, because they never state it. Nor do they seem to disagree with the underlying policy, but are merely adamant that at no time can anything be done to effect change. Not with 60 Dems; maybe with 70? And we can’t expect an affirmative vote from a three-term incumbent with double-digit victories; maybe a five-term incumbent with even larger victories? If not the number four in leadership, then second? Are we left with nothing but vague, abstract references to someone being “liberal”; are we focusing on a brand and not a voting record?

    PS: It’s off-topic, but everyone has been expecting Inslee to run for Gov.

  20. 22

    uptown spews:


    Just take your credit card business elsewhere. My credit union dropped it’s rates last fall. Plenty of choice out there.

    Murray is way better than most in the Senate.

  21. 23

    Chris Stefan spews:

    For the most part I look at a politicians record as a whole rather than any specific vote.

    On the whole I find both Cantwell and Murray represent me well. If you think they should be replaced then who should they be replaced with?

    The reality is you pretty much have to accept giving the seat to a crazy wingnut for one or more terms if you wish to replace either Murray or Cantwell before they retire since no Democrat with any chance if beating them will run against them.

  22. 25

    glacierpeaks spews:

    I wasn’t trying to drag Cantwell into this; personally I liked her efforts on financial reform.

    But to answer your question: we have an ample number of Democratic politicians in this state-some of whom seem to feel trapped by that overabundance-and there are particularly several good choices in the state legislature, a former county executive, etc. Of course, there’s no reason why someone outside of politics-perhaps a union man-couldn’t make a run for it.

    Who you vote for is your right, but I would ask you to really check on who that person really is. I think a lot of times we end up voting for some vague, abstract Democratic brand, without realizing that this person often actively works against your interests. When someone votes to keep your credit card rates high, that’s against your interests. When someone votes to keep drug prices artificially high, that’s against your interests-all of our interests. It may be that those issues aren’t that important to you, relevant to other issues, but those votes are still against your interests.

    Again, I would ask you to ask yourself “where’s the line-what are those issues that are important?” Are there markers of success and failure that you lay down for your politicians?

    Or are we just voting for, or perhaps voting against, a sort of hazy abstract brand that may or may not be real.

    Because if you read back through this thread, across three or four commenters, not one of them actually says specifically what they are voting for, or what they are voting against.

    Name the policy.

    Or is this all just tribalism and hoo-ray for our side?

    Thanks all!

  23. 26

    PassionateJus spews:


    So, In November, are you going to vote for Rossi or Murray?

    Those will be your two choices like it or not. You might not like Murray for a few votes she cast. My guess is that Rossi would have voted the same way on those few issues and he would definitely vote more conservative on every other issue.

    No thanks.

    I’m voting for Murray.

  24. 27


    It is not just Murray’s stances on drug reimportation and credit card interest rates; it is more. On those two issues and her recent vote not to allow states to set lower maximum, you can call her office and get reasons which could be charitably called disingenuous.

    The height of her bogus rationale came with her recent vote to give estate tax relief to the top 2/10ths of 1% of the population. The reason she gives for voting for this $250 billion (that’s a quarter of a trillion) tax break to the uber-wealthy is that she “wants to protect family farms”. The truth is that another Senator had an amendment which would have exempted family farms (less than 100 such affected farms nationally and Patty knows that) at a cost to the Treasury of only $1 billion.

    Worst is that she is studiously silent of the issue of public financing of elections. Public financing is favored by 80% of Democrats, 78% of Independents and nearly 65% of Republicans. It is absolutely essential if the people are to wrest control of our government back from the corporations. Murray will not, despite months of urging, take a stand.

    I am the prefers Democratic Party challenger to Murray with the most traction and represent the true change that glacierpeaks and others want. That’s why I received the endorsement of the Progressive Caucus of the State Democratic Party over Patty. Check me out at and help me spread the word about my candidacy

  25. 28

    Kyle L spews:

    Who’s the alternative to Patty Murray?… “Whose Shoes Will You Choose?”


    Oh the political rhetoric – how about electing an innovator, job creator, small business man, father, husband, an enlightened man who empowers his employees.
    He is not a politician by any means. What a breath of fresh air. His name:
    Visit his web site at If you like what you see, host a meet and greet in your neighborhood and he will come and speak and have a question and answer period. Democrats and Republicans alike are supporting him. He doesn’t look at parties to divide us, rather he treats each person as having something valuable to say. He empowers people. He is full of common sense to ensure that we work together to get results.
    Polls show that he is closing the gap – again, check out his website at

  26. 29



    My name is Schalk Leonard, candidate for US Senate. I am a retired US Navy Judge Advocate (JAG) and a UW Law School graduate. Born in Tacoma, raised in Puyallup. I own a small business in Poulsbo and provide Chinese translations for the US government.

    Please take a look at my campaign website – I have also created a number of campaign videos at search Schalk Leonard.

    I accept no money. I insist on transparent lobbyist/special interest dealings. I will drive full employment through special public/private initiatives, return manufacturing to America through Special Economic Zones, and bring all troops home from the Middle East. I will drive greater health care for all with doctors and nurses and patients at the core instead of insurance and drug makers. And I will insist on sincerity and transparency and ethics in my office.

    Please give me a fair look. I depend on American values, not American money, to rise in this election. Let’s do it. – Schalk