Politico reports that Democrats are encountering a brutal fundraising period in their longtime donor stronghold of mega-rich New York. The exact quarterly figures won’t be known until after the July 15 filing deadline, but some Democratic campaign insiders are calling this the worst period for fundraising they’ve experienced in the New York area since 1994 (there’s that year again).
It isn’t difficult to figure out what the problems are. They include non-stop bashing of Wall Street by the administration; the substantial loss of wealth among donors caused by the recession; demoralization among Democrats caused by the party’s loss of popularity and to some extent by disillusionment with the performance of Obama and Congress, the president’s arrogance, which prevents him from mingling much with wealthy donors; and the administration’s anti-Israeli posture.
Democratic fundraising problems don’t automatically translate into inroads for Republicans, but they do provide an opportunity. According to Politico, Sen. John Cornyn “has has been in New York roughly every six weeks, and is a familiar face at the Regency Hotel power-breakfast circuit on Park Avenue.” And a seven-candidate fundraiser hosted by hedge fund founder Paul Singer in New York last week reportedly raised well over $1 million for a handful of GOP Senate hopefuls. Politico calls this “a staggering amount that surprised several Democratic fundraisers.” Among the donors were some “who are typically Democratic givers.”
Similarly, a fundraiser hosted by Dan Senor, a former Bush administration official who is active in the Jewish community, included some Democratic donors. According to Senor, some guests told him “I’ve never written a check to a Republican in my life.” Senor added that he’s hearing from some Jewish Democratic donors who “are either sitting on their hands, or giving to Republicans.”
There are many things to dislike about the Obama administration and Democratic rule, even among the rich New York liberals who have mindlessly contributed to the Dems for years. It’s possible that Obama sees the erosion of financial support among this crowd as some kind of badge of honor, but his party is certain to be far less sanguine.
If things continue on the present course, perhaps the rich New York donor base will begin clamoring for the longtime source of their largesse, the Clintons.
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