Tuesday, February 10, 2004

More on Chandler

This came yesterday, but I missed it. According to the Chandler campaign, donations ending in $.18, and therefore marked as coming from readers of this blog, total $7008.48 so far. Thanks all!

[UPDATE: Actually, that was as of February 2nd - I missed the email back then.]

And, more from Roll Call:

Candidates like Ben Chandler, a Democrat competing in Kentucky’s special election to replace Rep. turned Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), are tapping into a new breed of political animal with potentially deep pockets — the Web log reader.

“We’re raising [considerable] money off the blogs,” said Chandler spokesman Jason Sauer. “It’s been really successful. Really beyond anything we’ve expected.”

With an investment of only $2,000, and in less than two weeks, the campaign has raked in between $45,000 and $50,000 in contributions from blog readers, and that number is growing every day, said Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

Chandler — a former state auditor and former state attorney general — is facing off against GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr in the Feb. 17 special election for the Lexington-area House seat. But while Kerr has outraised Chandler by several hundred thousand dollars — as of late last week, Kerr had raised about $1.2 million and Chandler was estimating his fundraising total at about $650,000 — Chandler’s campaign says its fundraising pace is picking up and at least part of the surge has come from the Web.

“It has been phenomenal,” Nickolas said. “I get an e-mail every time there’s a contribution — and we know from the e-mail the source is a blog when they come through that avenue. Since the morning of Jan. 29, the FEC [filing] cut-off, I’ve put all those e-mails in a separate file. So far there are 711.”

Regarding the campaign in general, from Stu Rothenberg:

Unless voters in Kentucky’s 6th district suddenly have a change of heart, the Republicans are headed for a rocky Feb. 17 special election in the Lexington-area House district. Former two-term state Attorney General Ben Chandler (D), not state Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr (R), has the advantage in the final days before the election.
But worse than the loss of a single House seat, a Republican defeat would suggest some problems for President Bush and his party.

This isn’t exactly what Republicans expected to happen when the seat became open, following Republican Ernie Fletcher’s election as governor in November.

GOP strategists planned to make the special election a referendum on a popular president and a contrast of ideologies in a conservative district. That way, they figured, they could elect Kerr to Congress even though the district has a Democratic registration advantage and is politically competitive.

But, instead of being an unadulterated asset, the president is proving to be more of a mixed blessing, and Kerr and the Republicans are struggling, at least so far, to convince voters that the race presents a stark choice between a liberal and a conservative.

Let's make Karl Rove cry!