Gubernatorial candidates today announced their fundraising numbers for the fourth quarter of 2005. Here are the numbers:
Rell: $896,748 (includes about $11,000 in in-kind contributions)
Rell did pretty well, considering her late start and strict, self-imposed fundraising rules. Her numbers aren't reminding anyone of Rowland's fundraising prowess, but any questions about her ability to raise enough money should be dispelled. The Rell campaign reported today that more than 2,000 individual donors contribute. 45% of those were small donors, contributing less than $100 each.
The Malloy campaign gleefully announced that they had outraised DeStefano for the second straight quarter:
"This is the third straight quarter that Dan Malloy has achieved significant increases in fundraising results," said Chris Cooney, Malloy's campaign manager. "By comparison, John DeStefano has just experienced his third consecutive decline in fundraising. In fact, having raised $477,000 Dan Malloy has beaten John DeStefano's best quarter." (Malloy press release: "Malloy Out-Raises DeStefano 2:1." 1/10/2006)
DeStefano certainly has a lot more money total, but Malloy, who was sidelined for nearly a year during an ethics investigation, is narrowing the gap. The DeStefano campaign is spinning the story as a victory (their press release pointed to the fact that they had more total money than any previous Democratic gubernatorial candidate), but the excuses are starting to ring hollow, especially following a month in which the DeStefano campaign seemed to stumble. CT News Junkie has an insightful piece on the DeStefano campaign's reaction to the fundraising numbers on their site.
Malloy, on the other hand, seems to be getting stronger all the time. He is moving to widen his appeal, his campaign is making few noticable mistakes, his numbers are up, and his rival seems to be falling flat. Democrats may start giving Malloy a second look following today's announcement.
It isn't time to stick a fork in DeStefano, yet. Another quarter like the last one, though, would be a major disaster for DeStefano heading into the convention.
The big winner here is Rell, however, who not only put to rest questions about her fundraising ability, but will continue to benefit from division among the Democrats. If not for the actions of Lisa Moody, the ongoing investigation of whom continues to taint Rell's fundraising operation, today would be a very big victory for her indeed.