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Minnesota GOP U.S. House Members Notch $800,000 Fundraising Swing Against DFL Colleagues from 2007 to 2009

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Riding the momentum of a Democratic tsunami in 2006, Minnesota's crop of five DFL U.S. Representatives posted a monumental fundaising effort through the first two quarters of 2007 - outraising the state's three GOP Representatives by over $750,000.

Now, two full quarters after the Democratic tsunami in 2008, the Republicans have turned the tide - outpacing their DFL counterparts by $46,000 - marking a net swing of more than $800,000 in two years.

As reported yesterday at Smart Politics, the sum contributions to the Minnesota U.S. House delegation through the first full two quarters in 2009 are roughly the same as the first two quarters of 2007 (down just 3.7 percent).

But this relatively flat trend line is the collective result of the DFL and GOP going in opposite directions on the fundraising front.

A Smart Politics analysis of FEC data finds donations to the Republican trio of John Kline, Michele Bachmann, and Erik Paulsen are up 29.6 percent through the first two quarters of 2009 compared to the same period two years ago (substituting former 3rd District GOP Representative Jim Ramstad for Paulsen).

On the DFL side, contributions to the campaigns of Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, and Jim Oberstar are currently down 23.8 percent from the same period in 2007.

The DFL quintet collectively raised $1,921,230 from January through June 2007 in individual contributions, PAC money, and political party committee funds. GOPers Kline, Bachmann, and Ramstad raised $1,164,846 during that span.

But now, through the first two quarters of 2009, Kline, Bachmann, and Paulsen have outraised their five DFL colleagues - by a margin of $1,509,610 to $1,463,211.

Republicans actually raised more money per Representative during both 2007 and 2009, but the difference is particularly large in 2009:

· At this point in 2007, the Republicans raised an average of slightly more than $4,000 more per Representative than the DFL: $388,282 to $384,246.

· So far in 2009, that margin has increased to over $210,000: $503,203 per Republican compared to just $292,642 per DFLer.

Campaign Contributions to Minnesota GOP vs. DFL U.S. Representatives through the First Six Months of 2007 and 2009

Contributions
GOP '07
GOP '09
DFL '07
DFL '09
Total
$1,164,846
$1,509,610
$1,921,230
$1,463,211
Total
$388,282
$503,203
$384,246
$292,642
% Change
 
+29.6
 
-23.8
Note: FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

This change in momentum on the fundraising front is the result of a combination of increased fundraising by the GOP contingent and a decline in receipts among several DFLers.

Representatives Bachmann and Kline, for example, have upped their fundraising efforts by 8.0 and 20.8 percent respectively through the first two quarters of 2009 compared to the same period in 2007.

Freshman Congressman Erik Paulsen has also done his share - outraising by 72.6 percent in 2009 ($578,208) what former 3rd District Representative Jim Ramstad raised at this point in 2007 ($356,581).

On the DFL side, there has been a substantial reduction in donations to the campaigns of Tim Walz, Jim Oberstar, and Collin Peterson - by more than a half million dollars collectively - compared to the receipts they had collected through the first six months of 2007.

· Walz's fundraising is down 37.3 percent, or $200,865, from $538,022 in the first two quarters of 2007 to $337,157 in 2009.

· Donations to Oberstar have declined 35.9 percent, or $242,055, from $673,519 in 2007 to $431,464 in 2009.

· Contributions to Peterson are down 18.9 percent, or $68,017, from $359,877 in 2007 to $291,860 in 2009.

Keith Ellison enjoyed a modest 5.5 percent increase from two years ago, with donations to Betty McCollum up a substantial 31.1 percent.

Change in Contributions to Minnesota U.S. Representatives through First Six Months of 2007 and 2009

Representative
2007
2009
% Change
Jim Ramstad /
Erik Paulsen (GOP)
$334,970
$578,208
+72.6
Betty McCollum (DFL)
$131,765
$172,691
+31.1
John Kline (GOP)
$275,428
$332,590
+20.8
Michele Bachmann (GOP)
$554,446
$598,811
+8.0
Keith Ellison (DFL)
$218,045
$230,036
+5.5
Collin Peterson (DFL)
$359,877
$291,860
-18.9
Jim Oberstar (DFL)
$673,519
$431,464
-35.9
Tim Walz (DFL)
$538,022
$337,157
-37.3
Note: FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

DFL loyalists will rightly point out that 20 to 30 percent drops in campaign donations to longstanding incumbents like Peterson and Oberstar are not likely to have any electoral consequences in their respective districts.

The GOP counterpoint, however, is that one way to measure the health of a political party is through the funds it can raise, and the warchests of key Republican officeholders from Minnesota's U.S. House delegation appear to be well-funded as they begin the defense of their highly-targeted districts in 2010.

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