No Country for Self-Funders, Part II

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Continuing to support the proposition that the political system is not about to be overrun by self-funding candidates is this report from the Wall Street Journal on the lack of success by deep-pocketed candidates this cycle.

Six of the twenty biggest self-funders have won their party’s primary. Now that’s a pretty decent 30 percent success rate, but how many will actually go on to win?

On the Senate side, there’s Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina and Ron Johnson. Fiorina and Johnson are making decent runs at well-entrenched Democratic senators in California and Wisconsin, respectively. They are, however, still facing uphill battles to win. McMahon has been down in the polls since she announced her run and only made up some room recently.

In the House the self-funders are Tom Ganley, Randy Altschuler and Matt Doheny. Ganley is running against the usually safe Rep. Betty Sutton in Ohio. Sutton, however, has lagged in fundraising and is tied with Ganley in recent polling.

Altschuler is running against New York Rep. Tim Bishop. Bishop has been safe in the past, but is facing a tough road this year. Unlike Sutton, Bishop has raised a substantial amount of money.

Matt Doheny just won the Republican Party primary in New York’s 23rd district and will face off against Rep. Bill Owens, who won a high profile special election last year. Doheny may be hamstrung by the continued presence of his just defeated primary foe Doug Hoffman, who will remain on the ballot as the Conservative Party nominee. Hoffman has not stated yet if he will continue to run or not.

So, self-funders have a chance to score some victories. It’s highly doubtful, however, that they can beat the percentage of wins they scored in the last election when they won only 21.5 percent of them won.

Self-funders, still not a big threat.

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  • There is no problem with self-funders if they want to make a difference, vs something to do to pad the ego with all the $$$ they made or lucked into (or both). Self funders may be more free of some of the funding graft that is common.

  • Lance

    I think the problem with most self-funders is they go for the brass ring first instead of establishing some credibility as a viable candidate. Being self funded means you don’t have to pay your dues as a public servant at lower tiers of government first. That’s why you rarely see self funders running for House (vs. Senate) seats. They want to be governor or senator or don’t want to bother.