Democratic Governors Association raised big money in 2009

Democratic incumbents are facing some tough governor’s races in 2010, but fortunately the Democratic Governors Association will be in a position to help in key states:

The Democratic Governors Association raised $23.1 million in 2009, more than ever before in the organization’s history, and will start the 2010 election cycle with nearly 12 times as much cash on hand as 2006, the last equivalent election cycle, Chairman Gov. Jack Markell announced today. […]

The DGA’s 2009 fundraising marks the second year in a row and the first off-year in which the DGA raised more than $20 million. Fourth quarter fundraising was by far the strongest, with more than $7 million in contributions received during the period. December contributions alone totaled nearly $4 million.

The record-breaking fundraising means that the DGA begins 2010, the most critical gubernatorial cycle in a generation, with $17.5 million on hand. In the equivalent election cycle in 2006, the DGA carried over $1.5 million and spent less than $14 million on races that year.

The Republican Governors Association has historically outraised the DGA by wide margins. In spite of the fundraising gap, since 2007, the DGA has won twice as many targeted governors races as the RGA. The DGA’s strong cash-on-hand position means that it will be able to spend at a competitive level with the RGA in this critical cycle.

Losing the governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia was painful enough; I am glad to know that those campaigns didn’t deplete the DGA’s cash reserves.

Here in Iowa, Governor Chet Culver may need the DGA’s help to keep pace with Republican expenditures. Culver held lots of fundraisers during the fall, but he also spent money running a couple of television commercials statewide. Terry Branstad probably pulled in big numbers during the fourth quarter, although he will have to spend a lot of cash before the Republican primary in June. At least one other Republican candidate, Bob Vander Plaats, has enough resources to run a strong primary campaign.

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