Jon Keeling (R-VA), is all a flutter over yesterday’s campaign finance report for reasons that escape me.? Both candidates are uncontested in their primaries, so the only figure that really matters is cash on hand as it’s all about building up the biggest warchest you can before the general election starts in earnest.

On that front, Strickland holds an impressively lead:

Strickland Cash On Hand: $7,124,556.11

Kasich: $5,202,298.18

Difference:? $1,922,257.93

Now Keeling wants people to only focus on the fact that Kasich raised a little over $500k more than Strickland, but he ignores that Kasich also SPENT more money than the Strickland campaign (so much for the idea that Kasich is a fiscal conservative.)? Once you take the difference in the campaigns’ spending and subtract that from the difference between the campaign’s fundraising, Kasich only closed the cash-on-hand gap with Strickland by $187,460.46 since the beginning of the year.

At that rate (which requires a ridiculous assumption that the campaigns continue to raise more than they spend), John Kasich will erase Strickland’s cash on hand advantage sometime around October… 2012.? Unfortunately for Kasich, the election is over by Nov. 2010, and he’s unlikely to continue to take in more than he spends between now and the election.? This fact is what lead Jon Keeling to claim that Kasich is “smoking” Strickland financially.?

To put this in historical perspective, let’s go back to 2006 when Ken Blackwell was viewed largely as an underperforming campaign fundraiser throughout the campaign.

At this point in 2006, Ted Strickland “only” had $791,782.96 more on hand than Ken Blackwell.? And Ken Blackwell had a hotly contested primary against then Attorney General Jim Petro while Strickland had nominal opposition.

John Kasich is facing a cash-on-hand disadvantage that is nearly 2.5 times bigger than the one Ken Blackwell was facing at this point in 2006, and John Kasich has no primary.

The standard rule used to be that a Democratic still had a shot of winning so long as there wasn’t anything more than a 3:1 cash-on-hand advantage favoring the Republican.

John Kasich is a complete unknown, he’s going to need to spend more money than Strickland in order to 1) introduce himself to voters; 2) convince voters that his tax plan isn’t going to bankrupt the state, close prisons and school, and cause a fiscal disaster in the State.? In short, Kasich has some significant problems for the general election that he needs a ton of money to try and solve.

He’s got a decent amount of money to do that, but Ted Strickland alone (never mind the DGA, ODP, and independent expenditure groups) is more than adequately resourced to help define Kasich and his tax plan.? With just the post-primary and perhaps the July and August Monthly reports, Kasich is running out of time to close the gap before the campaigns go from “savings” mode to “spending” mode.? And let’s also not forget that John Kasich has been raising money for this gubernatorial bid, essentially, since 2007.

Ted Strickland is not only sitting on the largest campaign warchest of any Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the nation, breaking campaign fundraising records in Ohio yet again, but he’s sitting at a far more important cash-on-hand advantage that Kasich is highly unlikely to erase before the campaigns start to seriously spend money on things other than fundraisers and overhead.

Keeling is just spinning, and not very convincingly.