Quantifying Massa's Accomplishment

Fundraising Graph

To understand the accomplishment reflected in the final money numbers, let's compare the 29th to the other close races in New York. These are races where an incumbent was defending his office, and the margin of victory (or loss) was in single digits. In both fundraising and spending, Eric Massa outdid his peers. Not only was Massa the only challenger to out-raise and out-spend his opponent, the others weren't even close.

The chart at the right illustrates the fundraising achievements of the group. The bars show the difference in spending between the incumbent and the opponent. For example, in NY-26, Tom Reynolds' whopping $4.2 million represented 64% of the $6.6 million raised in that race. Jack Davis' $2.4 million, most of which came from his own pocket, is only 36% of the total. The graph shows the difference: Reynolds out-raised Davis by 28%.

The line on the chart shows the Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index. For example, NY-25 is D+3, which means that the district is on average 3% more Democratic than the nation as a whole. As you can see, at R+5 (D-5), the 29th is the toughest district of the group.

2006 Close Race Spending

The spending story is similar. This graph shows the gap in spending between the two contestants in each race. As with Friday's post, I added third-party spending to the mix. Again, the incumbents far outspent challengers in all races except in the 29th. NY-20 was the next closest, where Sweeney and his allies outspent Gillibrand by 12%. As with the previous chart, the red line represents the Cook Partisan Voter Index for the race.

All of the challengers in this study were well-funded, and some raised and spent far more than Massa. In absolute terms, Davis, Gillibrand and Hall (NY-20) out-raised and outspent Massa, but each of those challengers participated in races where the "cost of admission" was much higher. Massa was the only challenger who paid more that the cost of admission, and the race in the 29th was close because of it.

The underlying data for this study is available as a pdf.