Yep, today’s the deadline for the Statewide candidates (except for the U.S. Senate) to report their August fundraising haul.  And yet again, they don’t actually have to report their spending, so any cash-on-hand figures you see bandied about is highly misleading and shouldn’t be trusted.  That’s why I’m not going to run them in this post.

We’ll update this post as the reports are filed today.

Governor:

  • Governor Ted Strickland (D): $1.4 million.  A $72k donation by the Franklin County Democratic Party, but no sizeable donation from the Ohio Democratic Party.  This is the first report where ODP was not listed as Strickland’s biggest donor, and he still outraised Kasich.
  • Congressman John Kasich (R): $1.28 million.  Kasich got maximum donations from the Summit County GOP and anti-campaign finance reform foe, ironically named, Citizens United.  This is about a $1 million drop off in fund raising for Kasich in a month.
  • Ken Matesz (Libertarian): $1,525.00. (Twice what he raised in July)
  • Dennis Spisak (Green): $12.00 from a single donor.  Four years ago, the Green Party’s candidate for Governor raised over $1,600 in August—over 133 times what their current candidate has raised.  Wow.

Secretary of State:

  • Former Speaker/State Senator Jon Husted (R): $263,457.  Husted reported raising $325,000 in July, so this is a significant drop in his donations in a month.  However, we’re getting to that phase where campaigns move away from fundraising and start spending.
  • Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D): $58,116.81.  Oh boy.   Best thing I can say about this race is that despite her late entrance, O’Shaughnessy has raised as much total money at this point as Jennifer Brunner did in her successful campaign in 2006.  The bad news, of course, is that the environment is much worse for a Democratic candidate and Brunner wasn’t facing an over 4:1 cash-on-hand disadvantage like O’Shaughnessy is likely facing.
  • Former State Rep. Charles Earl (Libertarian/former Republican): $1,350.00 (First filed report)

State Auditor:

  • Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper (D): $176,596.12  Pepper saw a smaller than Yost decrease in his fundraising.  ODP kicked in a $5k for his July report and $6k in August.
  • Delaware County Prosecutor David Yost (R): $107,026.00.  ($20k from the Ohio GOP just yesterday to boost his totals.)  That’s less than half what he reported raising last month (of course, nearly half of that month’s haul was a $100k donation the Ohio GOP made at the last possible minute,too.)  Not looking good for Team Yost.
  • Mike Howard, CPA (Libertarian): $70.00 from two donors.

Attorney General:

  • Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray (D): $429,040.70.  However $132k of that came from a donation today by the Ohio Democratic Party.  Still that keep Cordray at only slightly less than what he raised last month.
  • Former U.S Senator Mike DeWine (R): $414,175.14.  However, DeWine got today $215,000 from the Ohio GOP, so nearly 52% of his money came in today by Kevin DeWine deciding to cut his cousin’s non-Apportionment Board race a big check that is over ten times what they gave to the Auditor’s race.  Expect David Yost, who was recruited to run for Auditor and drop his primary challenge to DeWine by the Ohio GOP, and others blow up.
  • Robert Owens (Constitution): $6,227.  That’s slightly more than he raised in July and more than he raised in August ‘08 as a Independent candidate in the special election.
  • Dr. Marc Feldman, M.D. (Libertarian): $0.00

State Treasurer:

  • State Treasurer Kevin Boyce (D): $133,823.46.  Second worse performance of any incumbent statewide Democrat except for Chief Justice Brown who only raised $104k.  Not exactly the kind of numbers to believe that Boyce, an incumbent, is closing the gap with his challenger.
  • State Rep. Josh Mandel (R): $172,891.  Okay, so Mandel didn’t widen the gap as much as I feared when I saw Boyce’s numbers.  Still he’s likely sitting on a 3:1 fundraising advantage, and there’s simply not enough time for Boyce to close the gap any more.
  • Matthew Cantrell (Libertarian): $0.00.  (Yes, he filed a report.)

Yost got $100k from the Ohio GOP during the July reporting period but only $20k yesterday.  As a result of the Ohio GOP’s decision to reduce the amount they’re funding his race anymore, Yost’s fundraising has dropped over 53% in a month.  That’s not what you’d expect if the Ohio GOP believed in their polling in an Apportionment Board race where their candidate is already facing a massive cash-on-hand disadvantage.  Lo0ks like the GOP is giving up on the Auditor’s race.

Pepper, on the other hand, has not been dependent on his State party to fund his campaign, but actually saw a very small increase in State support in the past month.  Pepper is smoking Yost for the second month in the row once you take State Party money out of the picture.  Yost is at such a financial disadvantage, you almost wonder if Taylor staying put would have been better for the GOP.  Can Kasich bail out Yost by asking him to also be his running mate?

Mike DeWine gets over $200k from the Ohio Republican Party, which his cousin chairs.  By and large, he got the most from his State Party than any other candidate.  Meanwhile, the Republican candidate for State Auditor, the only Apportionment Board seat the GOP is defending, gets less than one-tenth that amount.  Things like that makes it hard to assume that moving Yost into the Auditor’s race really was nothing more than a bailout for Mike DeWine, and not about the Auditor’s race.  I don’t get the ORP’s priorities here.

I expected Strickland to raise more.  Not because anyone told me, too, but I just expected that with the Obama and Biden fundraising trip last month they’d raise closer to what they raised last month.  The campaign noted that they’ve still raised more money than any other Democratic candidate for Governor and raised more per day than they have this cycle.  Given Kasich’s late July-August ad buys, I’m guess that Strickland actually has about a $3 million cash-on-hand advantage at this point. That’s actually a bigger advantage than Strickland probably had at this point in 2006.

O’Shaughnessy is facing the biggest financial disadvantage of any statewide candidate this year with the exception of maybe Lee Fisher (depend on how much Lee and Portman have raised/spent since their last report in July.)  Boyce didn’t lose much ground, but he really needed to close some and didn’t.  Incumbents, in any environment, don’t ordinarily get out raised, let alone by nearly 3:1. 

It was a huge legal achievement for minor party candidates to get better ballot access this election.  Despite a political environment in which voters do not like either of the two major parties, you’d think this would be an ideal time for a minor party challenge.  However, it appears that the minor party candidates in Ohio have never done financially worse.

But Strickland, Cordray, and Pepper look good!

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