Pat Meehan’s campaign had another successful fundraising quarter to close out 2011. The Congressman announced that his campaign had raised more than $1.3 million for the year. In the 4Q alone Meehan’s campaign raised more than $312,000. These new funds leave Meehan with around $1 million in cash on hand entering 2012.
Meehan showed his gratitude in a statement saying “I am so grateful for such a strong show of support for my agenda to create jobs, rein in reckless spending and strengthen Pennsylvania.”
“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can enter the 2012 election year confident that we’ll be able to effectively communicate our message to the voters of the 7th Congressional District.”
“I’m sincerely thankful to all of my supporters for their steadfast friendship and support.”
Meehan’s fundraising has again ranked him as one of the top Freshman Republican fundraisers in the House. No Democrats have announced their intent to run against Meehan in the upcoming election, but the seat may again be an important one.
In the 2010 elections, Pa.’s 7th Congressional district was considered one of the most important congressional races in the country. The election was originally expected to be close, but Meehan won the district by 11-points over Democrat Bryan Lentz.
With 4th quarter numbers in, Congressman Jason Altmire begins 2012 with a $386,796 advantage over fellow Rep. Mark Critz in their forthcoming Democratic primary battle.
Altmire’s campaign announced Tuesday afternoon that it had raised $1.14 million in 2011 and had $852,292 cash on hand. He raised $180,745 in the fourth quarter, a net gain of $115,000 from Altmire’s third quarter total.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Critz’s campaign rolled out a 4th quarter haul of $130,635, a net gain of $23,000 from its third quarter total. He has $465,496 on hand. However, his campaign noted that since January first, it had received over $200,000 in cash and commitments.
The two colleagues were redistricted into a primary battle by the newly-drawn congressional map. 66 percent of the new 12th district currently has Altmire as its representative (compared to 28 percent for Critz). And an internal poll from his campaign showed him leading 50 percent to 34 in the primary.
But Critz has done well with labor unions across the district, including the influentialUnited Steelworkers.
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle’s, the Democratic incumbent from Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional district, released his fourth quarter fundraising numbers Monday. They showed that the Congressman raised $114,000 from October until the end of 2011. He has also reported just over $271,000 cash on hand to begin the election year.
Doyle is currently running unopposed in both the primary and general election as he seeks his tenth term representing the Pittsburgh area in Congress. His typically safe Democratic district was made even safer following last year’s redrawing of the Congressional map.
Pundits are already conceding the Florida GOP Primary to Romney as the latest Quinnipiac poll shows a 14-point lead over Gingrich. Following Gingrich is Paul at 14% and Santorum at 12%.
Santorum’s campaign has struggled since his early victory in Iowa. He attributes the drop to the “gutter politics” of his opponents. He did not specifically name Romney and Gingrich in his statements, but did direct his statements towards the negative campaigns they are running.
“I’m sick and tired of candidates who think they have to do anything that’s necessary — anything — to win an election. We deserve better than the gutter politics that we’ve been seeing in this race.”
Santorum is trying to regain his momentum in the race by moving past Florida to a key March caucus. The Missouri caucus will be a good chance for Santorum to test his strength against the leading candidate, Romney. During his speech to the crowd of 300 in suburban St. Louis, Santorum displayed his conservative beliefs. He discussed his plans to eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers and waive taxes on companies operating overseas as long as profits are invested in U.S. plants. He also promised to repeal all regulations enacted during Obama’s term.
These beliefs have led some, like conservative blogger, political commentator and author Michelle Malkin, to say that Santorum is the most conservative candidate for the GOP. Malkin looked at the track record of Santorum compared to that of his rivals; Romney and Gingrich.
“Rick Santorum represents the most conservative candidate still standing who can articulate both fiscal and social conservative values — and live them,” says Malkin.
Malkin notes that Santorum is clearly opposed to individual health care mandates and has been since his 1994 U.S. senate run. Romney has been unclear on the issue, vouching to repeal Obama’s health care plan, but at the same time defending the health care plan he signed in Massachusetts as a “conservative principle.” In reality the Massachusetts plan helped to serve as a blueprint for ObamaCare.
Malkin points to Santorum’s conservative voting record, with his vote against cap and trade in 2003, for oil drilling in Alaska, and commends Santorum for avoiding eco-radicals like Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. Malkin believes that Santorum is the strongest supporter on border security, national security, and defense. She also notes that Romney and Gingrich have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement. Malkin does acknowledge some of Santorum’s weaknesses as well such as his lack of a rock-solid stance on core economic issues.
Many conservative figures have begun to show their support for GOP candidates. Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, and GOP Governors. Nikki Haley and Bob McDonnell have announced their support for Romney. With more conservatives giving their support to Romney, the question becomes where does Santorum go from here?
The next week will be vital for Santorum’s chances. Nevada, Maine, Colorado, and Minnesota all hold their caucuses, while Missouri will hold their primary with a caucus coming in March.
Senator Bob Casey raised $1.09 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, bringing his campaign total to $4.347 million on hand. The number puts him on par with prospective Republican opponent Tom Smith, who also announced $4.4 million at the end of the quarter.
“Senator Casey’s fundraising is an indication of the strong support he is receiving from throughout the Commonwealth,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn in a statement announcing the numbers. “With these fundraising numbers, Senator Casey is in the top tier of fundraising nationally. Senator Casey will have the resources to communicate his record of working to create jobs in Pennsylvania and grow our economy.”
Casey’s seat has been roundly recognized by national observers as relatively safe for the incumbent; his numbers are on average better than most elected officials in Pennsylvania.
The haul is on track with, if slightly below, his average quarterly fundraising in 2011. Unlike his Republican opponents however, Casey has the advantage of an empty primary field.
Smith and other Republican hopefuls are gearing up for an expensive primary battle – meaning for the purpose of showing strength, money they can show on hand is worth more sooner than later. And that’s before they even spend a dime trying to beat up on one another.
Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, has loaned or contributed upwards of $5 million to his own campaign.
Update: In response to Casey’s announcement of $4.347 million on hand, the Smith campaign forwarded a copy of its filing, which shows $4.485 million cash on hand.
Steve Welch, the endorsed Republican candidate and an entrepreneur from Chester County, loaned his campaign $1 million. Tim Burns, a businessman from Washington County, has yet to announce his numbers. A campaign spokesman said Burns contributed at least $250,000 to his own campaign and the final number would be between $500,000 and $1 million.
Former state Rep. Sam Rohrer, of Berks County, has about $70,000. Bucks County veterans advocate David Christian has around $50,000 at the close of the third quarter; Harrisburg-area attorney Marc Scaringi had around $5,000 at that point. Bedford pharmacist John Kensinger has yet to report fundraising for any quarter.
Joseph VodVarka, a machinist from Allegheny County who is challenging Casey in the Democratic primary, reported $150 at the close of the third quarter.
64 percent of female voters within PA believe that the U.S. economy is on the wrong track, but despite that fact, 79 percent of the women surveyed who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 feel that they made the right choice.
As far as the 2012 election is concerned, 38 percent of female voters say they are certain or likely to vote for Obama, 40 percent are certain or likely to vote against him. 21 percent of women remain unsure about who their vote will go to.
Where the blame lies for the state of our economy is at an almost equal divide, between the Obama Administration at 28 percent and the Bush Administration at 26 percent. 25 percent of women surveyed believe that the state of our economy can be directly attributed to the collective decisions between both administrations, as well as the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Female voters were asked to grade Obama. While 26 percent of women gave Obama a B, his grades averaged out to a C.
One-word descriptors even placed Obama more favorably in the eyes of PA’s female voters; “intelligent,” “leader,” & “honest” were among words used to characterize the President (image above). Romney, on the other hand, was classified as “businessman,” “Mormon,” and “arrogant” (image below).
31 percent of the female voters polled considered themselves Republican, while 42 percent called themselves Dems. 23 percent were Independents.
24 percent of the women surveyed had a high school degree, while 32 percent had some college/associates/certificate. 26 percent of the women surveyed had a four year degree and 18 percent earned a graduate degree.
The majority of women polled were married, holding high at 65 percent. When adding together the yearly incomes of the households the women surveyed resided in, 14 percent classified themselves as less than $30,000/year. 18 percent fell between $30,000 – $50,000/year. 27 percent made between $50,000 – $100,000/year.
To maximize the accuracy of MCAP’s results, the data was weighted on age, race, and party and adjusted to represent the population from which the sample was drawn.
MCAP interviewed a total of 598 subjects. There was a 95 percent probability that the results are within a +/- 4.01 percentage point margin of error. Within MCAP’s survey, a variety of techniques were employed to reduce common sources of non-sampling error, such as calculating the response rate of those who wish to participate in a study and those who do not. Respondents were contacted during the weekday hours of 6:00pm and 9:00pm and sometimes on Saturday mornings and afternoons. No fewer than eight attempts were made in order to make contact with individuals. Research associates use conversion techniques, consistent with research ethics, to reel people into interviews, ensuring high rates of cooperation.
The questionnaire was randomized so that respondents did not receive a set order of response options. Research associates were trained to probe for clarity for close-ended questions. For open-ended questions, research associates conducting the interviews were trained to record verbatim responses.
Dr. Joseph Morris is the Director of MCAP, while Dr. Rolfe Peterson serves as the Methodologist behind MCAP; both Political Science professors at Mercyhurst University. Sean Fedorko also serves as their right-hand-man and Project Manager. The Center for Applied Politics conducts interviews with the help of many talented research associates that attend Mercyhurst University. Research is overseen by the Mercyhurst University Institutional Review Board.
Dr. Morris and Dr. Peterson would agree that when you have a room full of research associates, interviewing respondents, MCAP truly transforms into a magical atmosphere. Complete an interview, receive a Swedish fish; every research associate has incentive.
The writer is a former Research Associate at the MCAP.
Rep. Tim Murphy will start 2012 with a serious war chest, his campaign announced Tuesday morning. The incumbent Republican boasts slightly over $1 million on hand and brought in $264,000 during the fourth quarter of 2011.
“Congressman Murphy is extraordinarily grateful for the support he has received and is going to keep working on cutting federal spending, repealing Obamacare and getting this economy moving again,” said Murphy campaign manager James Genovese in a statement.
Murphy is facing a challenge in the Republican primary from Evan Feinberg, a former staffer to Sens. Tom Coburn and Rand Paul.
Feinberg recently released his own fundraising numbers, and has some catching up to do. He brought in $50,000 from 45 donors and has $40,000 cash on hand – a million less than Murphy’s $1.044 from 586 donors.
Feinberg blasted the news and continued to hammer Murphy for his support of labor.
“Doing the bidding of Big Labor and special interests may be an effective fundraising strategy, but it’s a bad deal for the people of Western Pennsylvania and the reason Congress has a 9 percent approval rating,” he said.
Murphy’s campaign said about 3 percent of his total raised in the 4th quarter and 6 percent in 2011 overall came from labor groups – mostly building trades.
On the Democratic side, only one candidate has announced a run so far: Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi. His announcement, in January, means he won’t have to release numbers until right before the primary.
Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. The tug-of-war continues over the Pa. Supreme Court’s redistricting decision. In a letter to Legislative Reapportionment Commissioner Chair Stephen McEwen, House Minority Leader Frank Dermody emphasized the need to take time and open the maps to public comment (which would make the 2001 lines more likely for 2012). Meanwhile, House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) sued the Dept. of State in federal court to force the state to use the not-yet-drafted maps for the 2012 elections.
And on the federal level, fundraising reports have begun to pour in.
$1 Mil on Hand for Murphy: Rep. Tim Murphy will start 2012 with a serious war chest, his campaign announced Tuesday morning. The incumbent Republican boasts slightly over $1 million on hand and brought in $264,000 during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Dent’s Numbers: Charlie Dent, incumbent of the Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional district, released his FEC financial report for 2011 on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Holden’s numbers: U.S. Congressman Tim Holden, the incumbent representing Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional district, recently released his financial figures in a Federation Election Commission report, including contributions he received during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Charters Grow Despite Challenges: Since the charter school movement began in Pennsylvania nearly 15 years ago, most of the state’s charter schools continue to struggle to meet state standards. Yet, charters in Western Pennsylvania keep growing. More than 90,000 students are enrolled in 142 public charter schools, including 12 cyber charter schools, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. An estimated 30,000 students are on waiting lists.
Pa. Seeks Funding for Health Care Law: Gov. Tom Corbett believes the Obama administration’s health reform law is unconstitutional, but that’s not stopping the state from asking the federal government for money to implement it.
Legislative Election Updates:
SD-37: State Rep. Mustio is now the front runner for the seat of retiring Sen. John Pippy. Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb dropped out and (all but) endorsed him.
HD-24: Video: Ed Gainey kicks off his primary campaign against Rep. Joe Preston.
HD-122: Democrat Ronald Rabenold, a 21-year teacher from Lehighton, has launched his bid for the former seat of House Speaker Keith McCall. The Carbon County based district is represented by freshman Republican Doyle Heffley.
HD-131: Kevin Deely, high school English teacher and former president of the Easton Area Education Association, will announce today his challenge to freshman State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh).
HD-161: Delco Democrats endorsed XXX Larry DeMarco against freshman Republican Joseph Hackett.
HD-162: …and Eric Gunlefinger to face Republican Nick Miccarelli.
HD-163: …and Seamus Bonner to face off against 33-year Republican incumbent Nick Micozzie.
Statewide: Early Returns: PA women have words for Obama, Romney Capitolwire (Paywall): Castille Served Notice A Decade Ago That This Was Coming Capitolwire (Paywall): DeWeese, Defense Team Have To Recast Tough First Week of Trial Capitolwire (Paywall): On Cross-Examination, Chadwick Says Deputy AG said DeWeese Not In Charge Capitolwire (Paywall): Gov. Corbett Shows Clout in Welch Endorsement. Critics Hear Echoes Of Haabestad Tribune Review: Mustio’s in, Gastgeb’s out in Moon senate race Tribune Review: Former state Rep. Terry Van Horne dies Tribune Review: Rep. Bill DeWeese plans to run again if acquitted at trial Early Returns: Mustio to run for Pippy seat Early Returns: Pileggi: 2001 lines unconstitutional WJAC: State Rep. Conklin to hold town hall meeting Monday WJAC: Gov.’s proposed budget could include funding cuts for schools NewsMax: PA GOP makes choice to oppose Sen. Casey
Philadelphia: CBS: City Councilman wants to strengthen civilian panel that oversees alleged police misconduct WHYY Newsworks: Pa. Senate backs plan to protect bicyclists Inquirer: Two Occupy protesters arrested Inquirer: Bills mount as Philly deal to sell HQ to Boy Scouts falls through Inquirer: Broke school district imperils Chester charter school Inquirer: Invalidated redistricting map throws PA race into turmoil Daily News: Occupier doesn’t have time to chill PhillyNow: Daily Grinder: Best Quotes from Occupy Philly Rally and more
Lehigh Valley: Morning Call: Catasauqua school board hears more of plans for medical charter school Morning Call: Natural gas filling station fuels questions WFMZ: Court ruling forces candidates to suspend campaigns WFMZ: Mayor to deliver first State of the City WFMZ: Pep Boys agrees to takeover by investment firm WFMZ: City gets state grants for renovations Express Times: Environmental group to sue EPA over delayed coal ash regulations
Charlie Dent, incumbent of the Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional district, released his FEC financial report for 2011 on Sunday, Jan. 29.
The report, a summary of the Dent camp’s receipts and disbursements for the past year, states that Dent received $186,290.00 in contributions during last year’s fourth quarter alone. Over the course of the entire year, Dent totalled $705,666.04 in donations. Also, the report indicates that Dent had $353,707.94 remaining on hand on Dec. 31, 2011.
Eaton is a former captain in the U.S. Army, an Allentown native, and a lawyer who attended New York University School of Law. He also only recently crossed party lines, becoming a Democrat last November so that he could run against Rep. Dent.
For someone who just recently came onto the political scene, Eaton’s fundraising is impressive.
Eaton has raised a total of $94,569.84 since declaring his candidacy, while tallying $3,941.45 on expenditures. In turn, at the close of the reporting period, Eaton reported that he had $90,628.39 on hand.
U.S. Congressman Tim Holden, the incumbent representing Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional district, recently released his financial figures in a Federation Election Commission report, including contributions he received during the fourth quarter of 2011.
According to the report, Holden received $99,885.68 in donations during the final quarter of the year, bringing the total of overall contributions his campaign has received this election cycle to $480,190.73. Looking forward, Holden has $337,274.14 in hand as of the close of the reporting period.
Rep. Holden’s challenger, Matt Cartwright, a lawyer from North Eastern Pa., only entered the congressional race on Jan. 24., 2011. Because Cartwright did not declare his candidacy in 2011 (perhaps an intentional choice by Cartwright), he does not have to report any financial figures to the FEC.