On Monday, both campaigns released their numbers for the past quarter, July through September. Both campaigns crowed about their healthy numbers. But in a race of two, only one can come in first. And here are their respective numbers.
According to the White campaign, Bill White raised $4.68 million, and now has $2.75 million cash on hand. That’s not bad.
But I bet he wants that $6 million back that he spent too early in the campaign to introduce himself. Since that time, he had a miserable couple of weeks as President Obama’s visit to Texas sent him running for the hills. And he’s had to answer for the whole BTEC scandal, in which he apparently profiteered from a company he hired to perform services during hurricane relief. Hurricane relief had been Bill White’s claim to governmental competency; that story made it his claim to corruption.
Gov. Perry’s fundraising numbers run like this: In the same period in which White raised nearly $5 million, Perry raised $8.2 million. He reports a little over $10 million cash on hand.
White: $2.75 million cash on hand. Perry: $10 million cash on hand. That’s nearly a four-to-one advantage for Perry, with about four weeks to go. When I reached the campaign Monday night, Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner was blunt: “Bill White has run his campaign into the ground financially, much like he did to the city of Houston when he was mayor. Now he is bankrupt on ideas and campaign dollars.”
There’s more bad news for White. A week back, the Democratic Governors Association announced that they were pouring about $2 million into Texas. That sounds like good news for White, and it mostly is, but there’s a catch: The DGA is spending the money directly. They don’t want White to manage it so they’re buying the ads themselves. That’s not only a vote of no confidence in the way White is running his campaign, it’s a vote of no confidence with a price tag. If the DGA gave their money directly to White, they’d get his advertising rates, which means their dollars would go about 25% farther.
So why would the DGA waste so much money this way? Word is, White is micromanaging his campaign, and he’s just not doing it well. Every tweet, every Facebook post, every ad — everything — has to pass his eyes before it goes out. He’s strangling his own campaign, and he can ill afford to. White simply is not raising the money to keep up with Perry, and what he did raise early on, he wasted.
This race isn’t over yet, not by a long shot. But Gov. Perry is poised to take his lead through the last month of the campaign running strong, while the best White can do is struggle just to get to the finishing line.