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Robinson Fundraising Approaching Zero

Who's about to lose their job? Phifer and Associates of Chicago.

Why? Because the Corinna Robinson for House campaign paid them $3,750 for "fundraising consulting" to help bring in more contributions. In the first half of Q2, Robinson raised $17,270. In the second half, Team Robinson raised $11,029.

O.K., o.k., maybe Robinson hasn't had a chance to put Phifer's crackerjack consulting into action yet. But we're kind of running out of time for new plans to kick in. Pretty good reporter David Montgomery can't hold back. He sees Robinson underperforming her current opponent Rep. Kristi Noem, her 2012 precursor Matt Varilek, and even her own earlier quarter numbers and declares Robinson "dead in the fundraising water":

...Over four full quarters of fundraising, Varilek raised on average about 60 percent of Noem. Robinson raised 23 percent of Noem in the first quarter of 2014, 15 percent of Noem in the fourth quarter of 2013 (a partial quarter for Robinson), and just 11 percent of Noem this quarter -- an average of about 17 percent. (Rick Weiland has averaged about 26 percent of Mike Rounds' fundraising.)

Varilek got heavily outspent but managed to raise enough to stay competitive. He aired commercials on the air throughout the campaign's final months. (He lost 57-43.)

Barring a major sea change, it doesn't look like Robinson is going to have the resources to get her message out to voters [David Montgomery, "Robinson Dead in the Fundraising Water," Political Smokeout, 2014.07.15].

If you're looking for spin to churn that calm sea into a Robinson money maelstrom, don't look at me. Heck, I'm still waiting for the final draft of Bob Kerrey's endorsement.

Robinson spent every penny she made from May 15 to June 30 and has five grand left in the bank to encourage Phifer and Associates to do better. During that same period, Rep. Kristi Noem raised $187K, spent only $32K, and did not break a sweat. Noem has $977K sitting in the bank. Kristi Noem could go to the lake all summer and let Booker answer the phone, and Team Robinson would still have to work 24-7 just to be competitive with the money Noem already has.


  1. Jenny Post author | 2014.07.15

    Cory, do you know Robinson? If anyone out there knows Corinna, tell her that Patrick Lalley would like to interview her on the 100 Eyes show.

  2. Cranky Old Dude 2014.07.15

    It's all about the money,
    Don't matter if you're a honey.
    If you can't raise the serious cash,
    then you doomed to crash.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme
    It wont' hurt a bit
    You'll never miss it.
    It's all about the money...

    If you aint an Oligarch
    then you gots no part
    If you can 't pay
    then you don't get to play!

    And it' s all about the cash!
    and it's all about the cash!

    Copyright 2014 by Industrial Disease and Otto Recycling Music.

  3. Flipper 2014.07.15

    It seems like a problem right there if a reporter from the state's biggest newspaper can't easily get in touch with a U.S. House candidate.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.15

    This is sad news, Robinson has the political ammunition to at least be competitive in a challenge to Noem. You have to seriously wonder if Corinna wants the job.

    I've heard more than one Republican say that could not support Noem this time around.

  5. Jerry 2014.07.16

    Maybe NOem will get Cantorized. The dude that beat the majority leader had no money either. Corrina should at least make the effort though, we cannot carry her if she does not want to be carried.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.16

    Let's dissect that path to victory, Jerry. What did David Brat do that allowed him to beat Eric Cantor's overwhelming money advantage? What aspects of that victory can Robinson (or Weiland, or Howie, or Pressler, or Wismer) replicate in South Dakota?

  7. Kal Lis 2014.07.18

    The North Dakota example is a little different. I should have looked it up, but I'm betting this George Sinner is a son or grandson of the former North Dakota Democratic governor. It helps to have family connections.

    South Dakotans claim to love the troops but they don't seem to want them to win elected office. If memory serves, the Boz raised more money than veterans Nelson, Ravnsborg, and Robinson (so far) combined. She doubled Ravnsborg's vote total too.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.07.18

    The Bosworth example is a little different. I should have looked it up but she is the product of Dick Wadham's ploy to screw with the US Senate nominating process.

  9. Bill Fleming 2014.07.18

    I think Cory H. should be the candidate for House.
    Too late this time.
    But let's think about drafting him next time.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.18

    Interesting comparison, Kal Lis! Note that Bosworth raised her money mostly from out-of-staters and was rejected by 94.25% of SDGOP voters, so she herself cannot be taken as repudiation of veterans cred. However, Bosworth obviously had a more effective fundraising plan than Robinson. Unfortunately, for Robinson to capitalize on Bosworth's model, she'd have to send out fear-mongering letters to vulnerable retirees who are too incautious with their money.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.18

    And true, ND State Senator George B. Sinner is the son of former ND Governor George A. Sinner. Where's Stephanie when we need her? Does Kneip have any politically minded progeny in state?

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.18

    O.K., Bill, seriously (and I put on the harsh devil's advocate hat): what would I be able to do that would generate any higher fundraising numbers than Robinson has so far? We both face the same challenge of a dwindling and disheartened local Democratic donor base, right? We both face an entrenched and well-oiled Republican money machine. We both face an electorate that David Newquist says responds to character assassination more than reasoned policy discourse.

    What can Corinna do now to raise more money? And if she can't do it, what can the 2016 Dem nominee do?

  13. Bill Fleming 2014.07.18

    One word, Cory. Organize.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.18

    Hmm... when did Kristi Noem start organizing for her 2010 bid? Did she have stuff in the works in 2009, or did her organization start when she announced in February 2010?

  15. Bill Fleming 2014.07.18

    Kristi didn't organize, Cory. She GOT organized. And just barely.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.18

    Well, whatever her agency in the organization, I'm not as cute on a horse as Kristi is, so I assume I (or most other challengers) would have to start earlier. But clearly we need to get the fundraising curve shooting upward sooner than Robinson has. Varilek did it in 2012; are those donors still there to be tapped?

  17. John 2014.07.19

    Varilek had Drey and Tim.

  18. lesliengland 2014.07.19

    sorry, drey? sorry drey? sorry, drey?

  19. lesliengland 2014.07.19

    fighting here with that idiot kathy and her million friends couldn't have helped corrina, fresh out of the blocks. i think she is a wonderful candidate.

  20. lesliengland 2014.07.19

    cory, your admission to being a talk-radio follower explains the annoying intransigence.

Comments are closed.