It's Hard Out There for a Republican

Commenters and emailers who are wondering if Randy Kuhl is going to resign consistently point to his poor fundraising as evidence that he's not trying hard to get re-elected.  I disagree.  I think Kuhl's fundraising problems are structural, not personal.

Last cycle, the majority of Kuhl's financial support came from PACs whose interests dovetailed with Kuhl's committee assignments.  At the time he gathered those donations, Kuhl was a member of the Republican majority that had run Congress with an iron fist for over a decade.  Kuhl's clout, such as it was, came from his ability to get the attention of the Republican leadership of those committees, and to be a vote in the committee majority.  In 2006, sending money to Kuhl seemed like a good investment for PACs interested in advancing their legislative agenda.

Today, it's almost inconceivable that Republicans will be in control of the House after the election.  It's far more likely that President Obama will use Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to ram through his agenda, no matter what a backbench Republican like Kuhl has to say.  If you're an organization with a legislative agenda, a donation to Randy Kuhl or any other Republican is simply a bad investment, no matter what you think of Kuhl or how many times he calls you to ask for money.

Republican fundraising is lackluster across the board.  Last month, John McCain was out-raised 7-to-1 by Clinton and Obama.  At the end of January, the Republican Congressional and Senatorial committees had $50 million less cash on hand than their Democratic counterparts.  Blaming Kuhl for this state of affairs is blaming the victim.


True nuff in some respects. But Kuhl's fundraising efforts (and I use the word loosely) among individual donors are truly laughable. There was at least one quarter when he only took in 10K from individual donors. That's on him, not the anti-Republican environment.

Two things:

1. A lot of "individual" donations are business owners or officers donating as proxies for their business. The same clout logic applies.

2. Kuhl's serious fundraising among 29th residents will happen after he announces again.