As compared to Reichert’s numbers from two years ago, he has raised $35,848 less than back then, while spending $20,928 more. He has $26,682 less cash on hand at this point than he had two years ago. Meanwhile Burner has $564,554 more cash on hand than she did at this point two years ago in a race she started as a complete unknown, and that ended with Reichert eking out a 7000 vote margin of victory.
I hate to focus so much on the money race, as I think it dumbs down the political debate, but at this point in the cycle it is usually one of the best metrics for evaluating the relative strength of campaigns. Without sufficient financial resources no congressional candidate can successfully get their message out, but dollars raised also reflects both the competency and efficiency of the campaign, as well as the general enthusiasm for the candidate. Burner received almost 4,900 contributions from individuals last quarter, about ten times that of Reichert, who once again relied on PAC money and high-dollar fundraisers to pad his coffers. And a preliminary analysis of itemized contributions shows Burner expanding her substantial lead in both in-district and in-state contributors.
This fundraising disparity represents a HUGE shift from two years ago, and no doubt is one of the reasons why Congressional Quarterly recently upgraded WA-08 to one of only three Republican held seats rated a “toss-up.” Eventually, once this money starts being spent, we’ll get a better idea of how close this race really is, but you can be sure that it is a helluva lot closer than Reichert and his surrogates are willing to acknowledge.