Chart of the Week: Dems Who Are Losing the Money War
On the eve of the Massachusetts Democratic state convention in mid-June, the party’s statewide candidates were struggling to scrape together decent stockpiles for the remaining three-month primary campaigns—suggesting that the nominees will be behind the eightball coming out of the September primary.
This chart shows the campaign balances as of June 15, for the Democratic candidates who will appear on the primary ballot for the open Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Treasurer seats.
To provide one data point for context: on June 11, 2002, Steve Grossman, in his first run for governor, placed a $1 million media advertisement purchase. (Charlie Baker reportedly just placed a $1.3 million fall reserve, but had less than $900,000 on hand as of June 15.) Not a single candidate in either party has that amount on hand today—and a million doesn’t go nearly as far as it did 12 years ago.
The two Attorney General candidates, Maura Healey and Warren Tolman, are in fairly good shape—note that Healey, although well behind her opponent, has more cash on hand than the frontrunner for governor, Martha Coakley. So does Barry Finegold—although most of his was transferred from his state senator account, and his balance has increased less than $100,000 in the past year.
At least for those candidates, there’s little concern for what’s left in the tank after the primary: the Republican candidates for Attorney General and Treasurer are little-known, poorly funded, and not expected to present much competition.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor ticket, however, will need to go up against a strong ticket of Baker and Karyn Polito. Those two have not been busting the bank so far either, with a combined $1.3 million balance. But they can keep adding to that total over the summer, while Coakley, Grossman, and Don Berwick will likely spend every penny battling each other.
For completists: Joe Avellone had $51,229; Juliette Kayyem had $121,028; and James Arena-DeRosa had $10,250 before they got knocked out of the race for failing to receive 15 percent of the convention vote.