CT Sen – Say what?

Heath wrote:

“Simmons has had a firm lock on frontrunner status in this race since before he announced, and these numbers help cement that view.”

I’m not so convinced. Here you’ve got a guy who has been full-time fundraising for the entire quarter ( as opponent State Sen Sam Caliguliri pointed out both Simmons and the other opponent currently in the ring, Tom Foley are currently “jobless”), the campaign has said they need at least $5 million to defeat Dodd (and that’s without a potential 4 way primary) and as the supposed “anointed one” of the State GOP and the NRSC, Simmons couldn’t even raise $1 million this quarter? And let’s not forget that Simmons last quarter FEC filing showed $20 in donations, which means checks from the end of last quarter were probably carried forward to this quarter. Sounds more like #fundraisingfail to me.

Look at it this way. In only 26 days since announcing he was a candidate, Foley raised $530,000. If he’d been at it long as Simmons, he’d have probably raised between $1-$1.6M. The guy didn’t get to be a Bush Pioneer for nothing. He also has the means to self-fund. Just for fun, let’s see if every time the Greenwich Time writes a piece about him, they refer to him as a Greenwich millionaire, just like they did with Ned Lamont.

Caligiuri was stymied in his fundraising efforts by the lengthy legislative session (as he pointed out, he’s the only one in the race with a day job) but he has already locked in the support of many of the state’s social conservatives.

And then there’s the wild card, Peter Schiff. Should he decide to get into the race he’s got the online fundraising potential of all the Ron Paulites behind him.

So I’m not quiet sure what the Simmons people are smoking if they think these results are such good news for their guy. It looks to me like this primary race by no means a lock for Simmons – in fact, Foley’s clearly a serious contender for the front runner’s spot.

I’m also not sure what Jim Barnett was taking when he wrote in his “internal memo” that he expected Dodd to raise $2.5-$3 million in the 2 Q.

Because, yanno, Senator Dodd’s been a little busy this quarter, what with passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, a national service bill, plus helping to close the Medicare Prescription Part D doughnut hole. Oh yeah, and leading the healthcare reform effort in Senator Kennedy’s absence, working on consumer finance reformer , climate change and public transportation and addressing those fleecing bastards private health insurer Anthem Blue Cross , who recently asked the CT Insurance Dept for approval to raise rates an average of 23% for individuals.

Mr. Caligiuri, you aren’t the only one with a day job. Just the only Republican.

Barnett must be getting his Anthem prescriptions for free, because with a schedule like that in the last quarter, there’s no way Dodd had the time to be out stumping to raise the kind of sums he’s talking about. $1 million is a more reasonable expectation for this time in the race (it’s what he raised last time this far out) and with his kind of schedule.

As CT Democratic Party Communications Director Colleen Flanagan, put it:

“I don’t know what was in the tea bags at the tea parties Rob Simmons has been attending, but $2.5 to $3 million is absurd.”

Looks to me like the Simmons camp is trying to raise unrealistic expectations to deflect analysis of their own numbers.

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33 responses to “CT Sen – Say what?

  1. AndersonScooper

    It’s pretty obvious the National GOP looked at Rob Simmons, (the 65yr old loser), and just voiced a collective “Pass!” in favor of Tom Foley.

    Moral of the story is that Rob’s media appearances were downright scary.

    Also, it helps if you’re good buddies with GWB, and if Frank, your new father-in-law, happens to be Reagan’s RNC chair from 1983-1989.

    But you local ‘wingers don’t need to worry. If you don’t want to take marching orders from the big boys of the GOP, you can always rally round Caligiuri. (but you better ante up!)

  2. A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House.

  3. AndersonScooper

    PS — where does this “$5 Million to defeat Dodd” figure come from? Foley estimates $10-$12 Million, minimum. And of course during Lamont-Lieberman, the battle ran to $20 Million a side.

    PPS — I understand what the expectations game is all about. But that suggestion of Dodd raising $2.5-$3 Million makes Jim Barnett either:

    A. Intellectually dishonest.
    B. Hopelessly out-matched.
    C. Just plain dumb.
    D. All of the above.

    Honestly Mr. Barnett. After your pathetic quarter, (you’ve got a poll stating you’re up 50-34%, CT-Sen is rated the GOP’s most probable pick-up , you’ve got incredible national buzz, you pulled everything forward from Q1, yet you still can’t bury the field?), you’re not going to get a newspaperman to write “Dodd raised only $1,000,000.”

  4. A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House.

    Sorry, my bad, will correct right now.

  5. AndersonScooper

    A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House.

    Yeah, Sam is six months into his second two-year term.

    Friggin’ Foley the Bushie as the guy we’ll have to beat. I still can’t get over it….

  6. I want to hear open to hear Foley’s message. But unless there’s something compellingly different from Simmons / Caligiuri, I don’t see Foley winning the primary with big bucks. The money is relevant – and can buy strong organization – but you’ve already got:

    1) Simmons – name recognition
    2) Caligiuri – pro-life (and presumably “right” on most other GOP primary issues)
    3) Schiff – a compellingly different (libertarian) message

    Primary voters tend to be high-information voters. And with a possible “pickup” in the US Senate, I don’t see winning the nomination with money alone.

    Of course, all of that is with the significant exception that I have no idea where Foley stands on the issues.

    Because, yanno, Senator Dodd’s been a little busy this quarter, what with passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act , Tags: 2010 races · Chris Dodd · Peter Schiff · Republicans · Rob Simmons · Sam Caligiuri · Tom Foley5 responses so far ↓ 1 AndersonScooper // Jul 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm · It’s pretty obvious the National GOP looked at Rob Simmons, (the 65yr old loser), and just voiced a collective “Pass!” in favor of Tom Foley.Moral of the story is that Rob’s media appearances were downright scary.Also, it helps if you’re good buddies with GWB, and if Frank, your new father-in-law, happens to be Reagan’s RNC chair from 1983-1989.But you local ‘wingers don’t need to worry. If you don’t want to take marching orders from the big boys of the GOP, you can always rally round Caligiuri. (but you better ante up!) 2 bpb313 // Jul 8, 2009 at 6:46 pm · A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House. 3 AndersonScooper // Jul 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm · PS — where does this “$5 Million to defeat Dodd” figure come from? Foley estimates $10-$12 Million, minimum. And of course during Lamont-Lieberman, the battle ran to $20 Million a side.PPS — I understand what the expectations game is all about. But that suggestion of Dodd raising $2.5-$3 Million makes Jim Barnett either:A. Intellectually dishonest.B. Hopelessly out-matched.C. Just plain dumb.D. All of the above.Honestly Mr. Barnett. After your pathetic quarter, (you’ve got a poll stating you’re up 50-34%, CT-Sen is rated the GOP’s most probable pick-up , you’ve got incredible national buzz, you pulled everything forward from Q1, yet you still can’t bury the field?), you’re not going to get a newspaperman to write “Dodd raised only $1,000,000.” 4 saramerica // Jul 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm · A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House.Sorry, my bad, will correct right now. 5 AndersonScooper // Jul 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm · A point of order regarding Mr. Caligiuri, he is currently serving in the State Senate, not the State House.Yeah, Sam is six months into his second two-year term. Friggin’ Foley the Bushie as the guy we’ll have to beat. I still can’t get over it…. Leave a CommentLogged in as Tim White. Logout »I want to hear open to hear Foley’s message. But unless there’s something compellingly different from Simmons / Caligiuri, I don’t see Foley winning the primary with big bucks. The money is relevant – and can buy strong organization – but you’ve already got:

    1) Simmons – name recognition
    2) Caligiuri – pro-life (and presumably “right” on most other GOP primary issues)
    3) Schiff – a compellingly different (libertarian) message

    Primary voters tend to be high-information voters. And with a possible “pickup” in the US Senate, I don’t see winning the nomination with money alone.

    Of course, all of that is with the significant exception that I have no idea where Foley stands on the issues.
    Tim White Says: I want to hear open to hear Foley’s message. But unless there’s something compellingly different from Simmons / Caligiuri, I don’t see Foley winning the primary with big bucks. The money is relevant – and can buy strong organization – but you’ve already got:1) Simmons – name recognition2) Caligiuri – pro-life (and presumably “right” on most other GOP primary issues)3) Schiff – a compellingly different (libertarian) messagePrimary voters tend to be high-information voters. And with a possible “pickup” in the US Senate, I don’t see winning the nomination with money alone.Of course, all of that is with the significant exception that I have no idea where Foley stands on the issues.

  7. AndersonScooper

    Okay Tim,

    So CT’s GOP voters are going to pick:

    A. The guy they like, or
    B. The guy with sufficient $$$ to wage a full-scale campaign against Dodd, (and spreading that money around the state to targeted districts.)

    There is a reason why I might like Kucinich’s politics, but I would never choose him as my nominee. Viability matters. A whole hell of a lot.

  8. Weicker Liker

    The Simmons Campaign wants to tell us what they want us to hear.

    What Heath conveniently left out was the amount of Cash On Hand.

    We know that Simmons raised about $85,000 plus on the internet.

    A wise political operative once told me that when you have in excess of 5,200 donors from 49 states, that usually means direct mail and other fundraising programs that have HIGH OVERHEAD.

    Simmons might have raised a big number, but at what cost?????

  9. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”With all due respect to the other gentlemen, Simmons has the lead in terms of fundraising and polling. That’s pretty much all of the campaign marbles.

    I think most balanced observers can agree that Rob is the GOP frontrunner at this point.

  10. Weicker Liker

    “He waxes desperate with imagination…..Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

    An important aspect that we are not being told about the Simmons Campaign Memo is the Cash On Hand….

    A high burnrate could be problematic for the Simmons Campaign….

  11. Scoop… my gut feel on the GOP nomination is that if (on primary day in Aug 2010) Dodd’s numbers are down… then GOP voters will not be overly concerned about fundraising thus far. It’ll be relevant, but most people will be figuring that Dodd is ground zero for The Return of the Elephant. Therefore, whichever Republican gets the nod… there’s gonna be plenty of GOP money flowing to the nominee.

    Schiff may be the exception in that he may not get the normal GOP donors, but he’d have plenty of donors regardless.

    As for viability, if the economy keeps shedding jobs… Dodd may very well get fired… and the last Republican standing may simply get the job by default… at least I’m assuming that’s the game plan… because for any R to win a Senate seat in CT is difficult, to say the least.

    The election is not about any of the Rs. And if Dodd tries to make it about his R opponent… he may keep his seat… but it’s gonna be an awfully tough sell for him to keep telling voters “the other’s guy is worse than me!”

    I just don’t buy that. Regardless, an R winning is more about the economy and a desire for change… than it has to do with any R platform, IMO.

  12. TheRealNixon

    Because, yanno, Senator Dodd’s been a little busy this quarter, what with passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, a national service bill, plus helping to close the Medicare Prescription Part D doughnut hole. Oh yeah, and leading the healthcare reform effort in Senator Kennedy’s absence, working on consumer finance reformer , climate change and public transportation and addressing those fleecing bastards private health insurer Anthem Blue Cross , who recently asked the CT Insurance Dept for approval to raise rates an average of 23% for individuals.

    Dodd busy? More like Dodd rewriting history. Dodd abandons Connecticut to run a frivolous campaign for the presidency and now he wants us to believe he cares about Connecticut? Let’s be real here people, the only one Chris Dodd cares about is himself. Also let’s not forget they type of man Chris Dodd is. He just hired Colleen Flanagan a former employee of Dodd who now works for the Connecticut Democratic Party, saying that the total raised by Simmons was “embarrassing,” “pitiful,” and “pathetic.”

    But as Simmons Campaign Manager Jim Barnett points out “She’s just got her facts wrong,” Barnett told Capitol Watch. “He didn’t raise money until this quarter. By any standard, $753,000 is an extremely good fundraising quarter.”

    Rob Simmons is the front runner and he will WIN the primary. Anyone that thinks some guy from Greenwich that has never even as much served on a board of selectman is going to know how to campaign with voters is crazy.

    Also, let’s take what saramerica says on CTLP with a grain of salt as she never even bothers to look at the other side of the isle. It’s hard to take a writer seriously when they only present a one sided opinion piece time in and time out.

    Source: http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2009/07/internal-memo-rob-simmons-rais.html

  13. I think most balanced observers can agree that Rob is the GOP frontrunner at this point.

    “Balanced observers”… You mean like someone who worked for Rob Simmons’ campaign in 2004, then again in 2006, and then for Rob Simmons’ ex-campaign manager for the next three years?

  14. TheRealNixon

    In response to tparty:

    “Balanced observers”… You mean like someone who worked for Rob Simmons’ campaign in 2004, then again in 2006, and then for Rob Simmons’ ex-campaign manager for the next three years?

    Congratulations! You can use the Internet to Google someone’s name! Let’s be real here though, sure Heath worked for the Congressman but that doesn’t preclude him from making an educated and thoughtful opinion. Many people believe that Simmons is the front runner.

    It’s also worth noting that in 6 years in Congress, 37 years in the military, 10 years in the CIA, 1o years in the Connecticut Assembly that Simmons has never even smelt of wrongdoing. In just the past 3 years Chris Dodd has wracked up more ethics complaints, more mud on his shoulders than any of us care to know.

    So Heath worked for Simmons. That means nothing. It’s still the thoughtful political perspective on the race.

  15. AndersonScooper

    Correction: Simmons is actually 66 years old. Next year he’ll be 67.

    Anyway, I hope it’s Simmons, as even if he wins there’s a good chance he doesn’t finish his first term.

    PS– next quarter Foley will bring in a Million $$$. And Simmons? He’s already grabbed the low-hanging fruit.

  16. Let’s be real here though, sure Heath worked for the Congressman but that doesn’t preclude him from making an educated and thoughtful opinion.

    It should, however, preclude him from insinuating that anyone else (say, the author of this post) is an “unbalanced observer” of this race.

    I guess “thoughtfulness” may be in the eye of the beholder, but hypocrisy shouldn’t be.

  17. Correction: Simmons is actually 66 years old. Next year he’ll be 67.

    Dodd is actually 65 years old. Next year he’ll be 66, and also the least effective Senator in America.

    Anyway, I hope it’s Simmons, as even if he wins there’s a good chance he doesn’t finish his first term.

    Wait, are you saying that you hope Simmons wins so that he’ll die in office?!? You’re not exactly known for your class, but that’s a new low, even for you.

  18. “Balanced observers”… You mean like someone who worked for Rob Simmons’ campaign in 2004, then again in 2006, and then for Rob Simmons’ ex-campaign manager for the next three years?

    Yes, that’s exactly what he means by balanced.

    By the way, we could sure use a full-time Caligiuri blogger around here, the GOP reportage is a little one-sided.

  19. With all due respect to the other gentlemen, Simmons has the lead in terms of fundraising and polling. That’s pretty much all of the campaign marbles.

    Indeed, all of this spin from the Dodd campaign that Simmons’ $750k haul is a poor showing is bunk.

    I would be surprised if Dodd didn’t pull in at least $2 million. He’s in the fight of his life and there’s plenty of money he can shake down from Wall Street. Certainly someone who has been in D.C. since 1974 will have a lot of favors he can call in.

  20. AndersonScooper

    Dobbs,

    No, I don’t want Simmons to die anytime soon.

    I just marvel that in this Blue State, given choices, that so many of you would coalesce around such an old geezer.

    Caligiuri is the guy that scares us, because he’s young and we can’t trot out photos of him with Bush, and tear him apart for his voting record. Plus, unlike Simmons he’s a likeable guy.

    Luckily Sam will never get off the ground, and you guys will have to roll-over for Foley, (the guy who’ll never learn your name), — or fight a costly primary on Simmons’ behalf.

  21. “Balanced observers”… You mean like someone who worked for Rob Simmons’ campaign in 2004, then again in 2006, and then for Rob Simmons’ ex-campaign manager for the next three years?

    Oh, and here I just thought Heath was saying I was unbalanced 😉

  22. AndersonScooper

    Ebpie–

    The only way Dodd pulls in $2 Million is with Lieberman’s help.

    And Chris is smart enough not to go there. I hope.

  23. BTW, here’s another unbalanced observer in the media who’s gone so far as to call it for Foley in the headline

    “Dodd faces Greenwich businessman Foley”

  24. The only way Dodd pulls in $2 Million is with Lieberman’s help.

    And Chris is smart enough not to go there. I hope.

    What Lieberman’s got can’t be cured. I hope you’re right about Dodd being smart enough not to go there.

    However, Dodd raised over $1 million in the first quarter, so it’s not out of the question that he could get to 2 on his own. But there’s only so many hours in the day, and Dodd does actually have a job to attend to.

  25. Primaries are low turnout elections. I honestly think Sammy could win it. I’d call Simmons the front runner at this moment. But if Sammy’s fundraising goes ok… and he doesn’t drop out by the end of the year. Then I actually believe he’ll win the primary. He may even get endorsed at the convention.

    Raising money is a big if, I know. But I think Sam can do it. He’s that good. You guys just don’t know him. And since most people on here will not ultimately be voting in the GOP primary next year… you’re not his target market right now. He knows his target market (RTCs, gun clubs, etc.) I’m certain he’s going to their meetings and making his pitch.

    Sam is a formidable opponent for anyone.

    disclaimer: I’m supporting Sam… with a caveat that I have some real interest in Schiff.

  26. Fo whatever it’s worht, I get blast emails (spam?) from Rob Simmons from time to time, but nothing from the others. I haven’t signed up for any candidates’ emails, and I haven’t gotten on many email political lists for a long time. But Simmons’ campaign has the organization in place to do things like this. That’s not because he’s got the most money, but it is because he knows what you need to do in a bug campaign.

    For Caliguiri, it doesn’t seem as if he’s really started his campaign yet. Raising only $125K isn’t very good: in the first quarter, you should be able to knock on a few major donors’ doors and get the $2,300 from husband and wife. I mean, 10 couples would yield $46,000 alone.

    If Schiff is serious, he’s going to need to get an experienced campaign staff. My major fear about the guy is that he says something completely off the wall. His dad is in prison because he says that the income tax amdendment to the constitution wasn’t really ratified properly. In the past few yearsm Schiff has made some comments that probably seemed way out fo the mainstram but which turned out to be true. That’s when he was talkign about economics and investments, which he knows a lot about. My fear is that he gets emboldened and says something weird about something he doesn’t know mcuh about. Or he starts advocating a gold standard or abolishing the Fed that may be ok in academic theoretical papers but just sound weird from a Senate candidate.

    I don’t know a damned thing about Foley except he’s from Greenwich, has a lot of money, raised a lot of money for Republicans, and was ambassador to Ireland. He apparently hasn’t held public office, so he’ll need a good staff as well so he doesn’t make some weird mistake.

  27. “Balanced observers”… You mean like someone who worked for Rob Simmons’ campaign in 2004, then again in 2006, and then for Rob Simmons’ ex-campaign manager for the next three years?

    tparty’s got ya there Heath.

    ANY Republican is a “front runner” against Dodd.

    Do ANY of you REALLY think Dodd will even be on the ballot in November of 2010?

    I don’t.

    If Dodd is not the Democrat on the ballot in 2010 then the Democrats will hold the Senate seat.

  28. Luckily Sam will never get off the ground, and you guys will have to roll-over for Foley, (the guy who’ll never learn your name), — or fight a costly primary on Simmons’ behalf.

    Which is probably one of the first things a Republican commenter who doesn’t favor one over the other would have observed.

  29. Primaries are low turnout elections. I honestly think Sammy could win it. I’d call Simmons the front runner at this moment. But if Sammy’s fundraising goes ok… and he doesn’t drop out by the end of the year. Then I actually believe he’ll win the primary. He may even get endorsed at the convention.

    I think Caligiuri has a strong chance of being endorsed at the convention. Why? Convention delegates are picked at a republican caucus. You want to talk about low turnout elections— with a caucus, all you need to do is pack the room with a few-hundred of your people. Keep in mind that Caligiuri is staunchly pro-life and has strong backing from gun owners and independent business owners. These are some of the most active segments of the conservative base.

    The problem that Simmons and Foley will face at the caucuses is conservative activists’ mounting discontent with the GOP party brass.

    As Dowd Muska has pointed out, Simmons has a terrible record on a whole bunch of issues that have nothing to with abortion and same-sex “marriage”. In fact, his cosponsorship of card check puts him to the left of Arlen Specter. Put simply Simmons prior track record of favoring big-government environmental regulation, union coercion and union monopolism, pork-barrel spending and bloated budgets positions him poorly to win the hearts of loyal conservative activists. History has shown him to have been on the wrong side of a number of issues, including offshore drilling, card-check, frivolous defense contractor spending, and unbalanced budgets.

    Foley’s problem is that he’s too close to Bush. No amount of spending on television commercials can erase that perception. Television commercials do not effectively advance new storylines and perceptions of public figures. You can not create a new impression of someone, whole cloth using TV commercials. At best they amplify and accelerate existing perceptions. Like it or not, the current perception of Foley is that he’s a Republican Ned Lamont— a Greenwich millionaire with no roots in Connecticut politics who thinks he can buy himself a U.S. Senate seat. Blanketing the airwaves with TV commercials at primary time will simply reinforce that perception. The vast majority of people, especially in North Central Connecticut will not react well to such a story-line. Foley has no connection to Connecticut politics and has no ground game at the moment. Unless he quickily gets a ground game in place he will find himself struggling to get the 15% of the delegates necessary for a primary.

  30. By the way, we could sure use a full-time Caligiuri blogger around here, the GOP reportage is a little one-sided.

    Though they neglected to mention me as the author, the Foley folks didn’t seem to mind my “unbalanced” perspective on Tuesday, and Sam will get the same respect from me.

  31. Count Pete

    A four-way primary seems entirely possible to me, and virtually impossible to handicap this far out. If the candidates can resist going after one another, it may be a good thing for the GOP, a real test of appeal and organization, with the strongest man emerging from the pack.

  32. Though they neglected to mention me as the author, the Foley folks didn’t seem to mind my “unbalanced” perspective on Tuesday, and Sam will get the same respect from me.

    That’s the downside to getting a front page poster who’s actually been there and has a clue – the other side wants to forever bring up your resume.

    If you were to show bias in a post without a prominent disclaimer, Republicans would be all over you and there’s more than a few Caligiuri supporter posting here regularly.

    Not one of us said a word.

    Further – Count Pete’s dead on the money (no surprise there; I’ve known him longer than half the posters here have been alive) with this observation:

    If the candidates can resist going after one another, it may be a good thing..

    Our ranks are too thin at this juncture to afford the luxury of a circular firing squad primary.

    I think those in the race are aware of that.

  33. Foley, (the guy who’ll never learn your name)

    Actually he has that gift that gives him phenomenal face/name recognition.

    A rather disarming talent that surely served him well as Ambassador.

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