Money Changes Everything
The big political news in New Hampshire today revolved around quarterly fundraising reports for the U.S. Senate race. There has been a good deal of anticipation in recent days over the imminent release of the first set of numbers from former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte’s campaign. Ayotte had to accomplish two objectives with her initial quarterly haul. First, she needed to demonstrate viability by raising enough cash to show that she can be competitive in a statewide general election that will cost millions for each of the two parties’ eventual nominees.
Second, given the ongoing storyline about Ayotte serving as the national Republican Party’s handpicked candidate, she needed to show that she can raise money from within the state. The campaign’s report of $613,000 raised, with about 60% coming from New Hampshire donors, certainly accomplishes those goals.
The campaign of Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes responded to the news of Ayotte’s fundraising totals by announcing that Hodes had raised nearly $600,000 himself in the past quarter, an unfortunate choice of adverb which served to underscore the fact that an incumbent politician with no primary challenger was out-raised by a potential opponent with no prior electoral experience.
Still, Hodes has raised nearly three times as much as Ayotte to date, and has over $1 million cash on hand. In his case, it could very well be that the lack of a challenger, with over a year still to go until the general election, has kept his supporters from feeling a sense of financial urgency up to this point. My guess is that they do now.

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