Today is the day when federal candidates have to submit their reports to the FEC. It's also close of second quarter, often considered a make or break day for challengers depending upon how much they have raised over the last quarter. The DCCC will have a keen eye on Shuler and Kissell, while I'm sure the Miller camp will be waiting for Robinson to file. Here's what I think we will see:
Shuler - Ole Heath reported over $500,000 on his last report, with over $300,000 raised through the quarter. I haven't been digging to determine if this is new (district) or institutional (DC) money, but it doesn't matter. The DCCC considers this a pickup and will throw everything and the kitchen sink at Charles Taylor. I expect the Shuler Warhorse to continue with this past quarter. My guess: $750,000+ cash on hand.
Kissell - Kissell has picked up Joey Nichols, who was a part of the Bowles fundraising team in 2004 (and I think 2002). She didn't start until late in the 2nd quarter, but will help make an impact for Kissell. Kudos to Anglico for hosting an event for Kissell; he is the grassroots candidate of 2006 for NC. Hopefully it will not be too little, too late. I think Kissell has to have a terrific summer in terms of fundraising if he is to have a chance. Not helping the situtation was Tim Dunn's performance (the DCCC pick), which left a sour taste in DC's mouth, which I bet has left them relunctant to help Kissell despite Hayes' recent setbacks.
Kissell showed only $30,000 on hand and only $80,000 raised through his last report, which is not a strong showing. As the grassroots have begun to take notice, both here and throughout the US, I bet you Kissell has raised more this quarter than all previous quarters behind. My guess is he will still be below the $200,000 mark, which won't lead to the buzz he needs in DC to prepare for the media onslaught that Hayes will bring after Labor Day. Don't let this stop you from helping Larry. Quite the contrary. This should be our challenge.
Robinson - Who the hell knows. Robinson claims to have a national donor base of 40,000 people. If that's true, generating money should not be a problem. I expect him to have outraised Miller in the second quarter, but not to have more cash on hand. Robinson has run radio commercials, dropped fliers on a ton of houses (he claims all, but like many of his other claims, I remain highly skeptical), and is paying interns to knock on Wake County doors all summer. I think the troubling part for Robinson is that his campaign tactics and outlandishness diminish the value of all these activities. Sure, he has landed himself on Rush and Fox and Hardball in the last month, but 99.99% of those folks can't vote for him. They can give him money, but if he can't make traction in the district, it won't matter. Miller has to be careful though. Robinson is no Virginia Johnson (who ran in 2004 and could never muster a true campaign), and if he or his campaign sleeps, they leave Robinson some wiggle room. Being the snake he is, a little wiggle room is all Robinson needs.