Democrats Set Fundraising Record

BY David Chalian  October 4, 2010 at 8:43 AM EDT

President Obama

President Obama greets supporters in Chicago during a Democratic Party fundraiser. Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

The Democratic National Committee announced Monday morning that it raised a record setting $16 million in September, by far the party’s best monthly fundraising total of this midterm election cycle.

“We’ve found that our supporters are now focused on the election, are responding to the president’s message laying out the choice and understand the stakes,” DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse told the Associated Press.

The parties do not have to report their monthly fundraising totals until October 20, but the DNC was eager to tally the receipts and trumpet its haul.

With only 29 days to go before Election Day, Democrats are eager to change the national political narrative that they are poised for failure to maintain one or both of their majorities in the Congress.

A big fundraising month, aided by President Obama’s stepped-up fundraising appearances, and a narrowing of the enthusiasm gap may point to an awakened Democratic base. And that, in turn, may help stave off the most disastrous scenarios for the majority party on November 2.

But the fundamentals of this election season are set and remain true. Sky high unemployment, the electorate’s near total dissatisfaction with Washington, D.C. and a highly energized Republican opposition will continue to make this a bruising election for Democrats.

“I think we’re going to have a good day on November the 2nd, so I don’t know how high or how wide that tsunami will be, but I think it will be significant,” National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Sunday on CNN.

The Republican National Committee has not yet released its September totals, but it has lagged behind its Democratic counterpart in fundraising throughout the campaign cycle.

INSIDE THE TEA PARTY

Nevada journalist Jon Ralstonobtained an audio recording of Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle speaking candidly about her race, providing rare insight into the tension between the Tea Party favorite and establishment Republicans.

The recorded conversation is between Angle and Tea Party of Nevada candidate Scott Ashjian and chairman Sid James. Angle tries to convince the Tea Party leaders to endorse her candidacy in an effort to defeat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid:

Angle: “I believe you (Ashjian) can do some real harm, not to Harry Reid but to me…I’m not sure you can win and I’m not sure I can win if you’re hurting my chance and that’s the part that scares me.”

Ashjian: “You have to understand, it’s not personal.”

Angle: “Everyone say it’s not personal but then Harry Reid wins.”

Angle: “(The Republicans in DC) don’t want me back there…because they know I’ll shake this mess up………I shook it up in Carson City, they hated me there…41-Angle was not a compliment……..When I go back, there may be five or six of us….maybe Joe Miller (Alaska), Ken Buck (Colorado), Christine O’Donnell (Delaware).

Angle also lays out her real animosity toward the Republican Party:

“The Republicans have lost their standards, they’ve lost their principles…..Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me…..They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government.”

BLUNT CHICAGO TERMS

One day after receiving a glowing East Room send off by President Obama, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel launched his Chicago mayoral campaign website and Sunday rolled out his announcement video.

“As I prepare to run for mayor, I’m going to spend the next few weeks visiting our neighborhoods — at grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys, and hot dog stands,” Emanuel says in the video.

“I’m calling this the ‘Tell It Like It Is’ tour, because I want to hear from you — in blunt, Chicago terms — what you think about our city, and how the next mayor and you, can make it better,” he adds.

The non-partisan primary election is set for February 22, and Emanuel has his work cut out for him.

The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz looks at some of the significant competition shaping up in the race, perhaps guaranteeing Emanuel’s desire to hear thoughts on his candidacy in “blunt Chicago terms.”

In his most significant campaign staffing decision to date, Emanuel chose to tap a Washington, D.C.-based congressional chief of staff to run his campaign rather than a politico steeped in Chicago politics.

Politico reported over the weekend that Scott Fairchild, currently the chief of staff to Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., will serve as campaign manager. The two worked closely when Fairchild ran Murphy’s successful 2006 campaign and Emanuel was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

PRESIDENTIAL ASSET

President Obama starred Sunday night in his first television ad for a Democrat running for a U.S. House seat when this ad for Louisiana State Rep. Cedric Richmond aired during the Saints-Panthers game.

“New Orleans needs Cedric Richmond in Congress — and so do I,” President Obama says in the piece.

In most other campaign ads this cycle, Mr. Obama has been portrayed a villain or liability. Some Democrats have even run against President Obama.

Richmond is running for Louisiana’s second congressional district seat, which is currently held by Republican Joseph Cao. This district contains most of the city of New Orleans and is usually represented by a Democrat. However, after Rep. William Jefferson was accused of corruption and later sentenced to a 13-year prison term for bribery, a Republican was able to win the seat in 2008. The seat is one of the few that Democrats hope to take from Republicans this election cycle.

While President Obama’s approval rating hovers in the 40 percent range nationally, according to Gallup, he is likely more popular in New Orleans. In 2008, he won Cao’s district 74 percent to 25 percent over John McCain.

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