Tags: gop | governors | walker | kasich

GOP Govs. Walker, Snyder, Kasich Have Big Campaign War Chests

Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 10:11 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Republican governors up for re-election this year are starting with a significant financial advantage over their Democratic opponents, campaign records show.

According to Politico, some of the discrepancy can be explained by the advantages enjoyed by incumbents, but the disparities underscore the uphill challenge Democrats are facing in trying to unseat the GOP lawmakers.

For example, Ohio Gov. John Kasich raised $3.6 million in the second half of 2013 and has a war chest of $7.9 million heading into 2014. In comparison, his Democratic opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald raised just $1.6 million in the second half of 2013and first month of 2014, according to Politico.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder raised $5.08 million in 2013 after launching his re-election bid, and already had $4 million on hand. He also has personal funds at his disposal. Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, has already turned up the heat on Snyder , but by comparison has raised only $1.6 million since he entered the race in June and currently has $1 million on hand.

And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign announced it raised $5.1 million in the second half of 2013, compared to his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, who raised $1.4 million, $400,000 of which is her own money, according to Politico. 

In Florida, the discrepancy is even greater. Gov. Rick Scott, who has vowed to spend $100 million on his reelection bid, has just under $25 million. His opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as a Democrat, has just $4 million on hand. It is unclear, however, how much Scott's financial advantage will impact the race, as a recent poll put the two in a dead heat.

The two Republican governors with the smallest fundraising advantages over their Democratic opponents are also considered by Democrats to be the most vulnerable going into the 2014 campaigns.

Maine Gov. Paul Lepage trails Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud as well as independent candidate Eliot Cutler, according to Politico. Michaud raised just over $1 million, compared with Cutler who raised $945,386, and LePage who raised $718,978. Michaud also has more cash on hand with $612,000, compared to LePage's funds of $573,000.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, meanwhile, is running neck-and-neck with his Democratic opponents in terms of finances. Corbett raised $6.8 million in 2013 and has $7.5 million cash on hand. Democratic State Treasurer Rob McCord raised $6.6 million last year and has $6 million on hand, while Rep. Allyson Schwartz has $6.5 million.

A poll in November indicated that Corbett's approval rating had hit rock bottom

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