In this week's widespread Fun with FEC Filings, The Right's Field has a post on the burn rates of Republican candidates, and it doesn't look so good for them:
Closing Tot Contribs Operating Exps Burn Rate Brownback For President $806,626 $1,291,024 $1,030,492 79.82% Gilmore For President $90,107 $174,790 $113,790 65.10% Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee $11,949,735 $16,077,670 $6,041,029 37.57% Hunter For President $272,552 $502,424 $263,422 52.43% John McCain 2008 $5,180,799 $13,680,081 $9,589,674 70.10% Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee $524,919 $639,989 $114,970 17.96% Romney For President $11,863,653 $20,982,788 $11,325,342 53.97% Tancredo For A Secure America $575,078 $1,185,536 $711,012 59.97% Tommy Thompson For President $139,723 $315,128 $252,312 80.07%
If we leave out Ron Paul (which I think we can), Giuliani has the lowest burn rate, at 37.57%. This will be a pretty hard pace to keep up for most of the Republican candidates.
So what about the Democrats?
|Closing||Tot Contribs||Operating Exps||Burn Rate|
|Biden for President||$2,838,916||$2,112,990||$1,172,174||55.5%|
|Hillary Clinton for President||$30,974,780||$26,054,302||$5,059,515||19.4%|
|Chris Dodd for President||$7,482,467||$4,043,757||$1,313,239||32.5%|
|John Edwards for President||$10,731,881||$14,029,654||$3,291,632||23.5%|
|Mike Gravel for President||$498||$34,720||$107,737||310%|
|Kucinich for President||$163,887||$358,569||$194,443||54.2%|
|Obama for America||$19,192,521||$25,709,105||$6,554,783||25.5%|
|Bill Richardson for President||$5,022,473||$6,246,382||$1,217,057||19.5%|
If we leave out Mike Gravel (which I think we can), only Biden and Kucinich are in Republican burn-rate territory. Even Dodd is doing considerably better than Giuliani. Obama's burn rate is high given how much money he starts out with - it will be interesting to see if he's spending at a high rate to set up a strong infrastructure early or if he continues to outspend most other Democrats (and on what he's spending).
Overall, though, it looks like candidates from the alleged party of fiscal responsibility are not only having trouble raising money, the top Republican candidates are spending more of it than the top Democratic candidates, creating problems for them at both ends of the burn rate equation. A detailed look at expenditures will give a more complete picture of what exactly Romney, McCain, and Giuliani are spending so much on, but it may be related to Republicans' typically heavier reliance on highly-paid consultants (a cursory glance at McCain's disbursements seems to support that theory - it reads "consultant consultant consultant").
Meanwhile, Democrats are socking away a good amount for when the campaign really kicks into gear.