CD-7: Follow the Money

Ed Perlmutter, who just captured the Democratic nomination in CD-7, and Republican opponent Rick O’Donnell, have already raised a lot of campaign cash, placing them among the top 50 House open seat fundraisers during the first 18 months of the election cycle.

But you haven’t seen anything yet.

With many eyes outside Colorado on CD-7, here are some things to watch as campaign money pours into the district in coming weeks. The fundraising battle is crucial, when it comes to running for office, the person who raises the most more often than not wins.

All data quoted are from analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Catch Up. Perlmutter is probably on the phone already, dialing for dollars. He has to narrow the gap with O’Donnell, who raised $1.7 million to Perlmutter’s $1 million during the first 18 months of the election cycle. O’Donnell also has far more cash on hand–$1.2 million v. $252,880.

More out-of-state cash.O’Donnell has raised a higher proportion of cash from individuals in-state than O’Donnell has-93 percent versus 86 percent. But that’s somewhat misleading, as the count doesn’t include all the out-of-state leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) that have contributed to O’Donnell. At any rate, expect lots more money from out-of-state to flow in to both politicians’ campaign chests.

Lawyers and lobbyists. Law and lobbying firms are the biggest source of cash for Perlmutter so far, but since most of this cash comes in the form of bundled contributions from individual firm members, they can pony up a lot more. Among his top donors to date are Castle, Meinhold & Stawiarski ($20,800); Berenbaum, Weinshienk & Easo ($17,630); Brownstein, Hyatt et al ($12,997), and Rothgerber, Johnson & Lons ($6,389).

Labor. Labor has done a lot for Perlmutter so far-giving him $87,500-but it could do a plenty more.

Leadership PACs A who’s who list of leadership PACs have already given the maximum of $10,000 to the O’Donnell campaign, including Back America’s Conservatives PAC (Richard Baker (R-LA)); Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism (Jim McCrery (R-LA)); Every Republican is Crucial PAC (Eric Cantor (R-VA)); Freedom Project (House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)); Future Leaders PAC (Jerry Lewis (R-VA)); Growth and Prosperity PAC (Spencer Bacchus (R-LA)); Majority Initiative-Keep Electing Repubs (Mike Rogers (R-MI)); Promoting Republicans You Can Elect (Deborah Pryce (R-OH)); and Rely on Your Beliefs (Roy Blunt (R-MO)). With these PACs maxed out, the effort will be to get donors to these PACS-often business interests-to give to O’Donnell directly.