Today both the John Foust and Barbara Comstock campaigns announced rough numbers for their fundraising hauls and it was big.
Foust was first out the gate with his campaign trying to make hay and pretend they had a ton of momentum with a million dollar haul and hyping some odd breakdown of the numbers that really didn’t say much – nevermind the last month has been miserable for Foust, from his gaffe saying Barbara Comstock never worked a “real job” to his downright awful debate performances.
But the wind was sucked out of his sails when the Comstock campaign responded to media requests saying, yeah, they raised a million, too.
The Foust campaign tried to brag about some of their numbers in the most misleading way possible, but in a rush to push out some sort of positive spin it’s what they aren’t saying that’s most telling.
First, what they are saying:
While the numbers are not yet final, an estimated 99.5% of the Foust’s contributions from July through September came from individual donors. Approximately 94% of those individuals’ donations were $200 and under. Foust had nearly twice as much cash on hand last quarter as Comstock, and continues to outperform her campaign in fundraising, on the air, and on the ground.
First off, no mention of the $400,000 he has self financed into his campaign. Which is a lot of money for a guy who’s day job is supervisor. But check out that individual donations under $200. Then look at these:
BY THE NUMBERS:
88% OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED CAME FROM INDIVIDUALS
85% OF THE DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS WERE $50 AND UNDER
93% OF THE DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS WERE $100 AND UNDER
OK. So if 94% were under $200 but 93% were under $100, only 1% were between $101 and $200? Only 8% were between $51 and $100?
And how can you say 99.5% of contributions came from individuals in one paragraph, then in “by the numbers” say only 88% of the total amount raised came from individuals?
What you see here is a case of a campaign just throwing out numbers and hoping and praying something looks impressive enough to stick.
But what they aren’t saying is what’s important.
1) Exactly how much did Foust raise? Over a million is good, but are we talking $1,000,001 or $1,200,000?
2) How much is actually from within the district? Foust has relied heavily on national lists thanks to the DCCC and New Majority PAC with signatures from such folks as Paul Begala, all of which appeal to a donor base that is NOT in the 10th District. But since Foust doesn’t have to give details for small dollar donors, we will never know how much of his “grassroots support” is coming from inside the 10th or places like California and New York.
3) How much did Foust loan himself this quarter? To date he owes himself $400,000, which he conveniently glosses over when he brags about his overall haul, rolling it into the total number and letting the press help him ignore the fact that he’s not raising as much as he claims.
We’ll know more on the 15th when the FEC filings are due and the total numbers are out. But what Foust hoped would be a good news day was neutered by the fact that his haul isn’t all that impressive – and his numbers are so made up that even the press can’t in good conscious touch on them.