As if it needed any more emphasis, the September 1 campaign finance reports starkly illustrate the difference in fortune between the Vermont Democratic and Republican Parties. In case you need to be told, the Dems’ war chest is on the left; the VTGOP’s is on the right. The exception is Gov. Phil Scott, who seems to finally be taking the campaign seriously. Maybe he’s a little worried about Brenda Siegel?
Fundraising numbers to date for statewide races besides governor:
Lieutenant Governor: David Zuckerman $236,687, Joe Benning $38,546. That’s the good one for the Republicans.
Treasurer: Mike Pieciak $126,500, H. Brooke Paige 0.
Secretary of State: Sarah Copeland Hanzas $74,078, H. Brooke Paige 0.
Attorney General: Charity Clark $129, 835, Mike Tagliavia 0.
Auditor: Invincible incumbent Doug Hoffer $100 plus a $1,115 surplus from 2020, Rick Morton 0.
Add it all up, and you’ve got Dems/Progs $567,200, Repubs $38,546. And that doesn’t count the well-funded losers in the Democratic primary.
Now let’s look at the number of donors, again minus the governor’s race. (Brenda Siegel actually does very well there; she’s attracted a lot of small repeat donors.)
Dem/Progs: Zuckerman 1,226, Pieciak 483, Clark 333, Copeland Hanzas 251, Hoffer 1.
Repubs: Benning 148, and then all zeroes.
Total: D/P 2,294, Repubs 148.
The usual caveat: Numbers don’t mean everything and sometimes they mean very little. But this is absurd. The Republicans who’ve raised and spent nothing? They’re not serious candidates any more than Cris Ericson or Emily Peyton are. They’ll get the straight-ticket Republican voters and nothing more. I doubt they’ll even spend much time campaigning except to show up for debates where they will embarrass themselves.
Also, Republicans might protest that some of their candidates didn’t even get their nominations until late in the month. That’s true, but it still leaves them up Shit Creek with a toothpick.
Got a couple more Deadline Day pieces on the way. One will look at the interesting numbers in the Scott/Siegel contest, the other will chronicle how two winning Democrats went on spending sprees to lock down their primaries. As a result, they”re strapped for cash going into the general campaign. That could spell trouble, except their Republican opponents are nonentities.