July 21st, 2010

Governor Culver by the Numbers

I took some time yesterday to comb through Governor Culver’s most recent fundraising report. After doing so, it is even more apparent that without continued support of the Democratic Governors Association, Culver will have a difficult time raising the necessary resources to win in November.

The following is the breakdown of Culver’s contributions in his most recent report.

Total Contributions: Terry Branstad had over 2200 people contribute to his campaign during the six-week reporting period, while Culver only had 344. While money isn’t everything in politics, it is important. Branstad’s report shows a wide swath of support around the state. To put Culver’s report in perspective, Brenna Findley had more contributors than he did.

Dependence on Out-Of-State Money: More than half of the money that Governor Culver raised flowed into his campaign from out-of-state sources. While only 19 out-of-state PACs and organizations gave to Culver’s campaign, they represent a majority of the money he was able to raise for his campaign.

Pathetic In-State Fundraising: Culver’s dependence on out of state money puts his campaign at risk of running out of money unless he can show that he is competitive with Terry Branstad. The best way for any campaign to insure it will have the necessary resources is to develop an in-state donors base. Culver only raised $187,899 from individuals in Iowa. If you take away Culver’s three largest personal contributions (Bill Knapp $80,000, Fred Hubbell $24,000, Greg Abel $15,000) he would have only raised $67,899.

Other interesting facts:

Average amount given by PAC or organizations: $13,256.41
Average individual contribution amount = $815.61
Average in-state individual contribution amount = $725.47
Average in-state individual minus Knapp, Hubbell, Abel = $267.71

Conclusion: Governor Culver has about $2.7 million in his campaign account, and while that is a lot of money, he is also spending money at a rapid clip. In the six-week period, Culver spent $1 million and is currently running a new attack ad on Branstad. If he maintains this level of spending, he will be broke before October.

While running out of money would be detrimental for any candidate, it doesn’t seem like Culver’s attacks on Branstad are making any sort of impact. As I’ve said before, if he can’t make this a competitive race, his out-of-state money will dry up and be used in other states where Democrats have better odds.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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