Jeff Carlock of EBAA has done his own calculation of bang for buck in the Senate races, which he has turned into the nifty graph below [filed under: Why didn’t I think of that!]
There’s one important variable that is missing, and not entirely easy to calculate, which is the candidates’ cash on hand, especially after the donation binge that followed RBG’s death.
Today’s NY Times article features Al Gross (AK), as having raised $3MM, doubling his cash on hand, and bringing him over the $8MM he told supporters was all he needed—with six weeks to go. Amy McGrath (who you can see in the chart is the least desirable competitive race for a donation) raked in many more millions out of spite.[footnote 1] You also can’t tell from the chart that Bollier (KS) is far ahead of Marshall in cash, while Greenfield (IA) is not ahead of Ernst in cash, albeit she is in the polls.
I remain skeptical of Jaime Harrison’s chances or value as a contribution, fun as it is to watch Lindsey Graham squirm. In the latest 45-all polling, Harrison is already pulling 95% of Democrats while Lindsey has only 80-some of Republicans. Harrison needs them to skip the Senate race or vote third-party, and Graham will be abasing himself to the max in the confirmation hearings to avoid that. I wonder if it will be his opening or closing statement where he announces that Trump’s farts do, indeed, smell like roses. Harrison raised oodles this week, and more will accrue once the hearings are on TV.
Mike Espy in Mississippi is a better play than Harrison. He is running (again) against Cindy Hyde-Smith. She defeated him in the special election required when Thad Cochrane retired early for health reasons. Espy is now only 5 down in the polls, and should have been put on this chart, but he has a similar issue to Harrison’s: he is maxed out with the state’s large African American population and needs extraordinary good fortune with its whites. Espy’s haul this weekend was a record for him, but was still less than $1MM. I am sure he can use cash better than Harrison, who is reaching saturation.
You can see from the graph that Jon Ossoff (GA) remains an important recipient. The special election in Georgia is rounding into view: The Rev. Raphael Warnock is now ahead of Matt Lieberman in the polls, behind Republican Doug Collins, and close to appointed incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler. Remember, this is a jungle primary. There is zero chance that either Republican will get 50%, so the point is for Warnock to finish in second place and be ready for the runoff. I don’t know if more money is what Warnock needs to get Matt Lieberman (and two other minor Democrats in single digits) out of the race, or whether some other form of persuasion is necessary. Lieberman was ahead of Warnock early in the race, but his fundraising is weak and almost all Democratic leaders have endorsed Warnock. Maybe this isn’t the year for the Dems to run two white liberal Jews in Georgia?
Incidentally, the other BIPoC Democratic Senate candidates are Adrian Perkins (LA), Marquita Bradshaw (TN), and Nez Perce tribal citizen Paulette Jordan (ID), all of whom will lose big, but who would certainly appreciate a token contribution. (I suppose I should also include Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, but he is an overwhelming favorite.)
I am replacing Gross with Steve Bullock (MT) on our ActBlue page later tonight, not because I am giving up on Gross (I think he is closer to winning than the graph suggests), but because I will take him at his word that he can’t spend more than $8MM, which he has now raised.
[note 1] This left-wing site suggests that McGrath isn’t even a very good candidate, although I doubt anyone could beat McConnell, and has been offered up by the Democratic Establishment because she would have no trouble raising money from out-of-state supporters. (I am not quite sure what the DSCC’s motive would be here: whether to force Mitch to spend in his own backyard so that he can’t redistribute his own funds, or to hope that McGrath would have so much money she could funnel some to the DSCC, or both.)