Thursday, December 27, 2007
Insiders Say Pearce Poised to Outraise Wilson In First Round Of '08 Money Race, Plus: What Would It Take For One Of Them To Quit? And: My Bottom Lines
Wilson & Pearce
Our Alligators say neither GOP candidate for the coveted open United States Senate seat is starving for cash, but they expect US Rep. Steve Pearce to edge out US Rep. Heather Wilson in the money race when the first federal finance reports are filed next month. Those reports will cover money raised and spent since our competitors joined the battle in October.
"Steve has raised about $450,000; Heather around $350,000. She had about $150,000 more than Steve in her re-election account when they both decided to seek the Senate seat. Steve should close that gap some when the public reports come out." Reports one of my reliable Alligators.
Wilson has had events with VP Cheney and former US Senator Danforth since announcing her Senate bid October 4, the day after Senator Domenici announced he would retire. Pearce did not join the race until October 16 but insiders report he pulled down $100,000 from dairy industry types with the help of former NM Lt. Governor Walter Bradley who is now the business & government director at Dairy Farmers of America.
Wilson started October with $755k cash on hand. Pearce had $582,000. As the conservative in a Republican primary, Pearce is the favorite. But Wilson has always been a formidable fund-raiser. She can also be expected to use the resources of Senator Domenici, her mentor, to keep up with Pearce.
WILL ANYONE FOLD?
The scuttlebutt among top R's is whether the loser of the March pre-primary convention will get out of the Senate race and let the party unify around one contender. If both candidates are well-financed, the odds of a withdrawal go down. Also, the Alligators are saying that if the pre-primary delegates deliver a close verdict--say two to five percentage points separate the two--there will be less pressure on the loser to get out. What's the winning margin that could get the getting out talk taken seriously? Again, to the Alligator pond:
"If one of the candidates gets to 55% at the pre-primary, that would be a 10 point win. That could be made into an argument that the loser should get out. But with these two, I would count on a long race to the finish," analyzed a Gator who has worked the inside of GOP politics.
THE BOTTOM LINES
How about that crazy race for the GOP US House nod in Southern NM? We hear even more candidates are coming in, like Mike Kakuska, an administrator with the Roswell schools who unsuccessfully sought a seat in the State House in '06. For a month after Steve Pearce announced he would give up the Southern seat and run for Senate, finding GOP candidates was about as easy as trying to catch Santa coming down the chimney. Now, we have more than we can keep up with. Most of them will fizzle at the March 15 pre-primary where they will need 20% of the delegates to get on the June ballot, but some will be happy just to wheel and deal at that convention, hoping to influence who does get on the ballot...
We said yesterday the National Rifle Association was coming with an Iowa TV ad for Big Bill. We based that on a usually reliable blog, but a closer look at the Washington Post article reporting the NRA support, says it will come in the form of a mailer "...papers filed with the FEC were for mailers promoting Democrat Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico. Whether they help his campaign, though, will depend on what the Democrats who receive them think of the group that footed the $9,000 bill: the National Rifle Association."
If we're going to shoot ourselves in the foot, it's appropriate for the NRA to be involved.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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