US Senate

October 29th, 2013

Fundraising Woes: Whitaker Loans Campaign $50,000 – Raised just $54,000 in last three months.

When the Republican U.S. Senate candidates released their third quarter fundraising numbers earlier this month, it looked like David Young was the candidate whose fundraising took the biggest hit.

In an October 16th article I wrote, “Matt Whitaker reported that he raised $104,555 for his U.S. Senate bid.  While that’s less than he raised in his initial fundraising period, he’s not too far off his original pace.  Whitaker’s fundraising pace is off 10 percent, which isn’t a positive sign, but it’s not nearly as bad as David Young’s situation.  David Young’s fundraising pace dropped by 28 percent.”

Now that Whitaker’s third quarter report has been made public, it seems that my initial gut feeling about his fundraising this quarter was spot on.

On October 15th I wrote, “Matt Whitaker has yet to disclose how much he raised in the second fundraising period.  His silence suggests that his numbers are not as good as his initial filings. Both Whitaker and Young hyped their initial numbers by say saying that they were able to raise the amount in a very condensed amount of time.  It’s problematic when you raise less over the span of 90 days than you raised in just 30 or 15 days.  Young has already confirmed that his fundraising pace has slowed.  Now we need to know if that also holds true with Whitaker.”

The latest financial disclosures show that Whitaker loaned his campaign $50,000, on September 30th, the final day before the close of the fundraising period.  That means that Whitaker raised just $54,555 from individuals over the last three months, the least amount among the four credible Republican U.S. Senate candidates.  Whitaker’s fundraising pace dropped by over 50 percent, which is problematic this early in the race.

Whitaker ended the fundraising period with a respectable $180,824.53, but when you remove his $50,000 loan and the $22,388.60 in other outstanding debts the campaign listed, his cash-on-hand shrinks to just $108,824.53.  And, as is always the case in fundraising reports like these, there are probably other expenditures that the campaign put off until right after the end of the fundraising period.

Whitaker is coming off of a solid debate performance last week, but that might not give him much of a fundraising boost.  In a crowded field of a candidates, it can be really difficult to raise money, especially if you don’t bring to the campaign your own network of people from which you can build a donor file.  With none of the candidates fundraising at an impressive rate, Whitaker’s fundraising woes are not the end of the world, but it is something that will need to be corrected if he plans to be a contender for the Republican nomination next June.

As I have written before, it’s the second fundraising period in a campaign that tells the story about a campaign’s health and long-term viability.  Raising the necessary money to fund a legitimate U.S. Senate primary campaign is one of the must difficult tasks the candidates will face.  Their initial reports are typically full of donors who are eager to support them – low hanging fruit so to speak.  Their second fundraising quarter is often more difficult.  As we have now seen, that is indeed the case with Whitaker.

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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