In a report Sunday, The Hill selected fragrant oranges to surround Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, but pelted Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Coffman with rotten apples from last autumn’s harvest.
Bennet is a winner, they declared, because he raised $2 million in this first quarter of his 2016 Senate reelection race.Not bad, but still a half-million less than Udall had in the bank during the same quarter of the 2014 election.
Coffman’s a loser, they contend, because he only raised $300,000 in the first quarter of his House reelection bid for 2016.
No Republicans have announced that they intend to challenge Bennet for Senate yet, but Coffman is considering a run and believed by many to be the GOP’s strongest potential candidate.
Coffman is a proven fundraiser, but he put up a dud of a first quarter in 2015, bringing in just over $300,000 and ending with about that much in the bank.
Still, there’s plenty of time. Coffman raised $4.5 million last cycle just to protect his competitive House seat in liberal Denver.
During this same quarter in the 2014 election cycle — January through March, 2013 — Coffman raised well over $500,000, but he was already in a tough campaign against an opponent for his House seat.
Is $300,000 a drop in the bucket, a dud for the first quarter of a Colorado congressional race?
Here’s how the rest of the delegation fared in that same first quarter of 2013 for the 2014 election: Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Jefferson County, $300,000, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, $122,000, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, $93,000 Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, $80,000, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, $65,000, and Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, $30,000.
You read that correctly, in the first quarter of the 2014 campaign cycle, Garder only raised $93,000 for his congressional race, but went on to trounce Mark Udall in the Senate campaign.
It is also worth noting that after Gardner announced for the Senate race, he raised $2.7 million in the next quarter.
As long as Coffman is campaigning for a House seat, his fundraising efforts should be judged as such. And on this Colorado scale, his efforts were standard – it costs significantly less to run a House campaign than a Senate race.
Judging Bennet by the same Colorado scale, that of Udall’s fundraising in the same quarter, his efforts were sub-par.
If Coffman does decide to challenge Bennet, we expect Coloradans will line up with their wallets and drown him in the same financial support they heaped upon Gardner.