RALEIGH – The 2018 election cycle in North Carolina featured a clobbering of Republicans by Democrats when it came to fundraising. The North Carolina Democratic party broke some of their old records for fundraising, and the cash pile was used to heavily target Wake and Mecklenburg counties with a lot of success for the Left.
While it’s still early innings, relatively, for the 2020 election cycle, Democrats are gain enjoying a fundraising lead in many of the statewide races that make up the Council of State.
From News & Observer:
“[…] In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper raised $4.8 million in the six-month period, with a total of $5.6 million in his account as of June 30. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who plans to formally launch his gubernatorial campaign in August, posted $1.33 million raised and $1.01 million cash on hand. […]
The Democratic Governors Association highlighted the numbers in a news release, calling Forest’s numbers “floundering” and noting that Cooper’s total exceeds his numbers from the same period in the 2016 campaign cycle. […]”
It makes sense that Cooper, as an incumbent, would raise more this time than in his initial run for governor. Moneyed special interests tend to like continuity in the power structures they’ve spent so much time and money cozying up to. Still, a five to one lead is daunting, especially when you consider all the free advertising Cooper will get from mainstream press.
It’s a similar story in the lieutenant governor’s race, with Democratic fundraising leader reporting over $300,000, two times what the top raising Republican, Scott Stone. Actually the second place Democrat, state senator Terry Van Duyn raised more than the top Republican as well.
Second place in the Republican field for lieutenant governor goes to New Bern businessman Buddy Bengel, raisng nearly $100,000. Notable in that field as well is former Congresswoman and Trump appointee Renee Ellmers, but because she was only able to raise about $63,000.
The rest of the Council of State races (state treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state, auditor, and commissioners of labor, agriculture and insurance) follow a similar pattern. Though, it’s worth pointing out that one of the advantages of incumbency for lower profile statewide races is that name recognition is already baked into the cake, and thus less funds required to increase name ID.
For instance, Republican State Treasurer Dale Folwell trails his likely Democratic opponent $6,835 to $355,244, but one would be crazy to think that is the actual imbalance of support between the two 2020 candidates.
The lone Republican in a fundraising lead? Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. And that’s after two years of
communist teacher strikes in Raleigh and the constant harangue from Democrats about Republicans being against public education.
As mentioned before, however, it is early yet and a lot can change on the road to 2020. Dan Forest doesn’t officially launch his campaign for a couple more weeks, when his fundraising will kick into overdrive, and the filing period could see more big names jump in many of these races.