Showing posts with label us senate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label us senate. Show all posts

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Van Hollen Gets Important Backing From SEIU // One Union Says Edwards "Has Turned Her Back Toward Labor"

Today, at an announcement at in Baltimore, Representative Chris Van Hollen will accept the endorsement Maryland’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals, including 1199, 32BJ, Local 500, Local 400, NAGE and Local 722. This is the biggest endorsement to date for Van Hollen and a body blow to Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who many originally expected to win the strong backing from organized labor.
: Van Hollen "has a record of standing with labor and workers," said Ricarra Jones, with 1199 SEIU. "We're going to go with a person who is going to best represent our interests in the Senate."
: We feel like she has turned her back toward labor,” said Ricarra Jones, political organizer for Local 1199, the largest SEIU chapter in Maryland, which has about 9,000 members. “We think that Van Hollen will do a much better job.”
PAINT THE STATE PURPLE: The Maryland SEIU locals represent nearly 45,000 members, and their endorsement ensures the Van Hollen campaign will receive significant union support, including member-volunteers who will knock on doors and make phone calls in Baltimore City and other key Democratic jurisdictions.

Relaxed campaign finance rules post Citizens United not only allows SEIU to spend more heavily on advertising but also to ramp up voter contact efforts to non-union workers. In 2012, SEIU was the top outside spending on Democratic campaigns - spending $70 million on donations, television ads and GOTV.

SEIU has increasingly played a very active role in many important elections and legislative battles through both member outreach and paid media efforts. In 2014, SEIU backed and invested heavily in Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and more than 80 other candidates in the Democratic primary. The vast majority of these endorsed candidates prevailed.

Nationally, the 2 million member SEIU - the fastest growing union in the United States - endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Notably, SEIU has supported and increased awareness of the ‘Fight for $15’ campaign, and has successfully persuaded local leaders in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

DISAPPOINTING FOR DONNA: Labor in the past has strongly supported Edwards, which likely makes today’s endorsement that much more painful. SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) strongly supported her bid to unseat Rep. Al Wynn in 2008 - spending more than $1 million on her successful campaign. Unions also circled the wagons and effectively scared Glenn Ivey into dropping a primary challenge in 2012.

Earlier this year observers thought Edwards had the inside track with labor, and would earn the financial and organizational resources to make up for Van Hollen’s fundraising edge. Instead, Van Hollen and Edwards have traded endorsements and the AFL-CIO declined to choose sides.

It is unlikely that any union that currently supports Edwards can match the resources SEIU can bring to bear. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

EMILY'S List Pumps $1 Million Into Edwards Campaign // SuperPAC Ads To Target Women, African American Voters

Christmas came early for Representative Donna Edwards.

With dwindling resources and a new poll showing the Prince George’s Congresswoman behind by double digits, the Edwards campaign desperately needed a game changer. And they got one.

EMILY’s List - the influential Democratic organization that supports pro-choice women - announced that they will spend more than $1.2 million on television, radio and online ads for Edwards predominantly in the Baltimore region. As reported by :
BALTIMORE SUN: The group will spend $875,000 on cable and broadcast ads alone, plus another $146,000 on radio and digital spots. The ads will run over six weeks and will target African American women. The ad campaign is paid for through WOMEN VOTE!, the group’s super PAC, which spent more than $12 million in the 2014 election cycle.
A MUCH NEEDED BOOST: EMILY's List ad buy - assuming the entire amount is spent - represents more than 3x the total amount of money the Edwards campaign has on hand, and allows her to finally respond to Representative Chris Van Hollen - who has been airing television ads unchallenged for the last month. Without this national bail out, it was likely Edwards’ path to victory could have become non-existent going into the homestretch.

DIGGING OUT OF A DEEP HOLE: Full crosstabs from the , shows the big hole that Edwards finds herself in, and why she needed EMILY's List to intervene now. She's losing women by 8 points (with 1 out 4 undecided), and doesn't even earn majority of African American support.

Men      Women
Van Hollen 51% 42%
Edwards 25% 34%
Other/Undecided      23% 25%

White      African American
Van Hollen

The impact of Edwards's lack of traction in Baltimore shows. She's only attracting a quarter of the vote in a region where more than 40% of Democratic electorate reside. 

Balt City    Balt Co    Balt Region    MoCo    PG      WestMD    SoMD    Shore
Van Hollen 44% 46% 49% 75% 23% 29% 49% 25%
Edwards 29% 24% 25% 12% 63% 16% 22% 24%
Other/Undecided    27% 29% 26% 13% 15% 55% 16% 42%

A POWERFUL PATRON: EMILY's List is a well resourced ally who has helped elect . In the first half of 2015, the organization raised - the most it has raised in an off-year. Jumping into the Maryland Senate primary is a signal that they are not abandoning Edwards -  a candidate they supported early and raised money for - in her time of need .

What may give some of EMILY's List supporters pause, are questions regarding whether they are spending their resources wisely with 2016 shaping up to be a historic year for women candidates. Putting aside Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (), there's New  Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, former Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto, Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and former Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary Katie McGinty facing off in competitive Senate races critical to Democratic chances to retaking the upper chamber. Every dollar spent in Maryland, is one less attacking Donald Trump, Mark Kirk or Pat Toomey. 

HOW EFFECTIVE WILL IT BE? The positive biographical  touts her humble roots and pushes the progressive fighter image (though the bright flashes throughout the ad have been called ""). But there's a few things to note.

First, it is cheaper for candidates to advertise on television than for super-PACs. The rate EMILY's List is paying could be 1.5 or 2 times (or even higher) what the Van Hollen campaign paid. This price differential will only become greater as we approach the primary. More money for fewer ads. 

Second, advertising over the next 6 weeks puts the flight in the middle of the shopping season, the holidays and when most broadcast channels are playing reruns. This likely means fewer people are paying attention. Van Hollen's ads meanwhile played during November sweeps. 

Third, there's no guarantee that super PAC ad spending will be effective. Just ask Jeb! Bush. His Right to Rise super PAC has  Add to that the inability to officially coordinate with the official campaign, sync messages or film the candidate - makes this a tricky and costly enterprise. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rep. Chris Van Hollen Jumps Into Lead in Maryland's Open Seat US Senate Race After Early Ad Campaign Spending

With 150 days left to go until Maryland’s April 26 primary, Representative Chris Van Hollen has leapfrogged over Congresswoman Donna Edwards to take a large lead in the Democratic primary according to a .

Van Hollen

A BIG JUMP: A month after a random digit dial gave Edwards a large 10 point lead (38-28), Van Hollen is now up a whopping 14 points. 45% of likely primary voters choose him, while only 31% side with Edwards. An August for the Edwards campaign said Van Hollen was behind 37-42.

While one should be cautious when comparing polls by different organizations, the newest numbers suggest not only a significant uptick in support for Van Hollen but a dramatic erosion of support for Edwards. While the Sun has not released full crosstabs of their poll, they note that Van Hollen is performing “remarkably well” with women and African American voters. Van Hollen is winning female voters by 7% and is attracts almost 30% of support from black voters.

One of five voters remain undecided, and Edwards would need almost all of them to break for her.

REAPING THE REWARDS : Unknown in the Baltimore region - even though Ambassador Chris Van Hollen Sr. was born there - Van Hollen’s campaign decided to invest resources in early ads on broadcast and cable television in the relatively inexpensive Baltimore media market . In three introductory spots, Baltimore voters heard Chris Van Hollen was “,” is “” and “”

The exact size of the month long ad buy is unknown, they seem to have been incredibly effective. Van Hollen is leading by 16 points in Baltimore City - a jurisdiction that both Anthony Brown and Kweisi Mfume won convincingly in their primaries. In the wider Baltimore region, Van Hollen’s lead expands to 2:1.

STICK A FORK IN IT? The Edwards camp who had been loudly touting her strong poll numbers until now, cannot be happy. She was already running out of cash and this new poll is a broadside on her continued viability as a statewide candidate. The demographics may be on her side, but attracting new supporters could be difficult if they don’t believe she can win. And another disappointing fundraising quarter could give any national organization serious reservations about bailing out a floundering campaign facing an uphill climb.

Edwards likely knows the facts on the ground. She’s been and her campaign just opened up an office in the City last week. But unless she can compete on the airwaves, the campaign will not be able to reach enough voters to make a difference. The simply won’t do the trick.

STILL WAITING ON CUMMINGS: Everyone’s still formally waiting on Representative Elijah Cummings to make his intentions on the US Senate race publicly known, but signals still point to the Baltimore Congressman staying in the House.

This poll finds Cummings leading the field by 12 points with 40%, Van Hollen second at 28% and Edwards bringing up the rear with 19%.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Donna Edwards is Running Out of Cash for US Senate Race // Will Campaign Depend on Outside Spending to Keep It Viable?

The headline of Josh Hicks’ article in the Washington Post on October 25 - Donna Edwards ahead in polls but far behind Van Hollen in fundraising - accurately summed up the emerging consensus among observers of Maryland’s US Senate race. Congresswoman Edwards' support with the state's sizable African American community gives her an early lead in the race, but it remains to be seen whether she has the resources to wage a winning campaign with less than 6 months to go until the April 26 Democratic primary.

A deep dive into the Donna Edwards for Senate FEC reports suggests, and some Edwards supporters admit, that Rep. Edwards could soon be out of money - and time.

While the $638,000 Rep. Edwards raised in Q3 may seem respectable (though once again far short of Van Hollen, and other Senate contenders across the country), her campaign managed to spend more than she raised and ended with a paltry $369,000 in the bank (with almost $20,000 in debt). Her third quarter “burn rate” was 107.9%

This gives Edwards less than a tenth of the resources Van Hollen currently has at his disposal, and puts her behind and a handful of CD4 and CD8 candidates. Without airing a single TV spot or sending a piece of persuasive mail - where did all the money go?

STAFFING: $311,460 (45% of Q3 Spending)

Staff Salary/Stipends $186,259
Payroll Taxes/Fees $105,188
Health Insurance $10,530
Reimbursements $9,483

The bulk of Edwards spending came from staffing up her campaign. In the first half of September, Edwards had 24 people receiving either a salary or stipend - more than the Van Hollen payroll during the same period. Edwards report also does not include paychecks for the second half of September. This is another $60,000 expenditure against the campaign’s cash on hand.

While it is impossible to run a statewide campaign without people on the ground - payroll becomes a monthly cost that could become increasingly burdensome over time as more organizers are brought on board closer to Election Day. If cash becomes tight, we may see the Edwards camp decide to take a page out of the Jeb! Bush playbook and reduce salaries and downsize, or try and outsource field operations to an externally run paid canvass.

FUNDRAISING: $160,819 (25% of Q3 Spending)

Direct Mail $82,499
Fundraising Consultants $64,000
Credit Card Fees $12,772
Postage $8,726
Fundraising Expenses* $1,548
* Doesn’t include other line-itemed costs for catering, facility rental, travel and lodging

It costs money to raise money, and it is costing Rep. Edwards at least $0.27 per dollar raised. That is not insignificant for a candidate who has historically struggled with fundraising. These expenses will likely increase as her campaign tries to raise even more money, especially from more out-of-state donors.

In addition to Jeremiah Pope, Amie Kershner and Ann Lewis - Edwards added Greg Kalik as one of her fundraising consultants in Q3.

CONSULTANTS AND SERVICES: $105,583 (15% of Q3 Spending)

Polling $53,000
Research $20,554
Compliance $16,047
Campaign Consulting $6,250
Mail Consultant $5,314
Legal $4,418

At the time of the filing deadline, the Edwards campaign had yet to pay some of these expenses. At least $15,749 of unpaid bills is noted on her FEC reports including $8,066 to Evans & Katz for Compliance, $5,820 to her mail vendor Mission Control Inc, and $1,863 to the firm Perkins Coie.

While it is certainly possible - though unlikely - that the Edwards camp won’t spend any additional money on polling or opposition research, compliance and legal both are ongoing costs. A substantive persuasive direct mail program to a statewide universe, will likely cost six figures.

DIGITAL: $35,612 (5% of Q3 Spending)

Website Services $16,289
Online Advertising $15,257
Software $4,066

There was a sharp drop (64% reduction) in digital spending by the Edwards camp in Q3, as they pared back their online program. Rising Tide Interactive - the campaign's digital consultant - performs a number of services including list acquisition, email programs, fundraising and persuasion, so it is difficult to determine exactly what was specifically cut and whether this level of spending is sustainable for the duration of the campaign.

The campaign ended with $3,950 in unpaid bills ($1,250 to Blue State Digital and $2,700 to NGP VAN for website related services).

OVERHEAD: $57,729 (8% of Q3 Spending)

Office Rent $17,638
Catering/Facility Rental $13,425
Travel $10,354
Printing $5,495
Office Supplies $5,444
Phones/Internet $2,783
Lodging $2,590

Nearly 45% of these costs seem associated with fundraising events. Including these would raise the campaign’s cost to $0.31 per dollar raised.

Other overhead expenditures are related to Edwards’ headquarters in Prince George’s. These costs will undoubtedly increase as field offices are opened in different regions of the state. At least one more is open now.

DONNA EDWARDS NEEDS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES : It is hard to make a case that the Edwards campaign is financially viable and equipped to compete as we approach the new year. Not only is Edwards starting the home stretch with effectively less money than her FEC report suggests, but her ongoing monthly expenses is a growing drain on her limited resources.

And the Edwards campaign hasn't spent a dime on paid media. Spending in the expensive and inefficient DC media market looks completely out of the question, while even a small ad buy in Baltimore seems cost prohibitive. Try to budget in a statewide mail program, more online advertising and a radio buy - and one must wonder how the cash strapped Edwards campaign will get any real exposure to voters especially those outside Prince George's County. Van Hollen, on the other hand, is already on the air in the Baltimore-media market and will likely run several thousand points worth of advertising before 2016.

What Rep. Edwards desperately needs is a campaign bailout - some outside group to prop up her candidacy. This realization may have dawned early on Edwards when she rejected a proposal to . Aside from Emily's List the the Edwards campaign likely is relying on Labor for significant outside spending - making the recent decision of the the AFL-CIO to sit on sidelines  a significant blow.

But how big does Edwards' bailout have to be to keep her viable? And who is willing to part with millions of dollars to defeat progressive Van Hollen, when Democrats may have the opportunity to put the first woman in the Oval Office, and see a competitive path to a Senate majority through strong female candidates in GOP-held Illinois (Tammy Duckworth), New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan) and Pennsylvania (Kathleen McGinty)? Plus, how will anti-superPAC pro-campaign finance reofrm progressive Maryland voters feel about this?

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