We are still about a year away from primary voting season but, it being a presidential year, fundraising is well underway. That is going to be a difficult task for some candidates this time around. With about 80 or so Democratic candidates for president announced so far, okay maybe that number is more like 15 but it is still a lot, a lot of money is going to be directed toward the race for the White House.
Besides the Democratic race, the Trump campaign is going to also raise a very large amount of money. In 2016, the Clinton and Trump campaigns combined raised somewhere close to $1.5 billion. That number is likely to be surpassed this time. Democrats, desperate to beat Trump, will pour in money, and Republicans, desperate to hold onto the White House, will also raise a massive amount of money. And all that doesn’t even include the numerous Senate campaigns – more than 30 – which will also be vacuuming up money.
Twenty-two of the 34 seats up in 2020 are currently held by Republicans, plenty of opportunity for pick-ups by Democrats, but the reality of the political situation means some of these will not be considered competitive. And now this brings us to Georgia.
It could depend on the ultimate candidate, but taking into account the showing of Stacey Abrams in the 2016 election, a loss within 3 points, Georgia will be considered a possible pickup.
And now for the numbers.
The man possibly facing a very motivated Democrat electorate looking to unseat him in the Senate, David Perdue, has a very large war chest before heading into actual election time. Perdue reported about $5.3 million raised so far, with about $3.2 million cash on hand to still spend. For some comparison, Senator Isakson, at this same time in 2015, had a very similar amount – about $3.7 million – to spend to fend off any would-be challengers in 2016.
As far as potential Perdue challengers, there really aren’t any at this point. There has certainly been a lot of chatter about potential Tomlinson or Abrams or Jordan candidacies but these are all still in consideration or exploratory phase and have not reported any campaign fundraising so far.
On to those potential congressional races. These will be the races where fundraising, and judicious spending of said money, will be particularly crucial. There will likely be no record-breaking congressional fundraising in Georgia this time. Besides the difficulties of fundraising alone, with all those other campaigns spending money as well, the cost of running television ads will skyrocket, making it that much more difficult for candidates like Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA 6) to run ads defending her seat, and would-be challenger Karen Handel or Brandon Beach or someone else, to run ads contesting McBath.
McBath reported cash on hand of about $457,000. Handel, in her bid to return to Congress and as the most well-known candidate, reported just over $334,000 on hand. And Brandon Beach, currently the state senator for much of the sixth district, reported $123,000.
One more quick look at another race – over in the 7th district. Republican incumbent Rob Woodall is retiring and the seat will be open for the taking. As of now, there are currently no declared Republicans but the Democrat race has several declared candidates. Carolyn Bordeaux, who barely lost – by two-tenths of a percent – to Woodall in 2018, is likely considered the favorite to win the Democrat primary and has raised by far the most money so far.
She has raised more than $397,000, but there are other Democratic candidates who are earning significant money that may find success. Nabilah Islam has raised $74,000 and Marqus Cole has raised $16,000. Bordeaux is the most known of the candidates but Islam, Cole and other candidates will hope to raise enough money to increase name recognition and break through. With no Republicans yet, whoever does end up running will need to hit the ground…running to raise money in a short time.
Stay tuned for Q2 in a short three months…