Third District Congressional candidate Jim Gibbons told TheIowaRepublican.com last night that he raised $161,500 for his campaign in the first quarter of 2010. Gibbons wasted little time in disclosing his 1st quarter tally, which indicates that he feels pretty confident that he will out-pace his primary opponents once again.
Gibbons told TheIowaRepublican.com, “I am humbled by the support our campaign has received. Raising money is a difficult task for any campaign, but especially so when you have six other primary opponents. As I continue to travel the district, it is becoming more clear the Iowans are ready to have a voice in Washington that reflects their values, instead of a Congressman that votes with Nancy Pelosi 99% of the time.”
This is the second consecutive impressive fundraising quarter for Gibbons. At the end of last year, he raised more than $207,000 for his campaign. That was more than all of his six primary opponents combined, and almost $40,000 more than Congressman Boswell raised in the same time period.
To date, Gibbons has raised $368,000 for his campaign and has $265,000 cash on hand leading going into the final two months of the campaign. Gibbons has raised more money in four months than any Republican congressional challenger in Iowa raised in 2008.
While Gibbons’ fundraising success has yet to translate to a lead in the polls, it does put him in an enviable position two months out from the primary. State Senator Brad Zaun’s campaign has been distributing the results of a poll it conducted. It shows Zaun capturing 26% of the primary vote, followed by Gibbons at 7.5%.
Zaun’s four-to-one lead over Gibbons in his internal poll is impressive, but the poll also shows that 60% of voters are still undecided. That’s where Gibbons’ fundraising advantage comes into play. Gibbons has the resources to run radio and TV ads to communicate to those undecided voters. Unless Zaun or Dave Funk had a phenomenal fundraising quarter, which probably would have to look like Gibbons’ year-end haul of $200,000, these guys are in trouble.
With such a crowded primary field, there is a reasonable chance that this race could be settled at a special nominating convention, but, on the other hand, with 60% of the vote undecided, the candidate with the ability to communicate with those people stands the best chance to win the nomination outright. While I believe that Zaun or Funk are best positioned to win a convention, the Gibbons campaign has to feel confident with where they are at, especially if Zaun or Funk don’t raise a significant amount of money in the first quarter.
The last time Boswell had a formidable opponent was in 2006, when then-State Senator Jeff Lamberti challenged him. Lamberti received over 46% of the vote in what turned out to be a horrible year for Republicans in Iowa and across the country. Lamberti didn’t have to contend with a congested primary field. Instead, he could focus solely on beating Leonard Boswell. Lamberti spent $2 million on his campaign against Boswell.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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