"Unprecedented war chest", "The biggest fund rasier in US politics", "170 million dollars"...
You have all seen it over and over and over in the papers, on the news channels, all over the net. Bush and his $2000 a plate events.
But it seems Bush is spending like a drunken sailor. And it seems like Kerry is catching up.
At the end of February Bush had $108 million cash in hand. In March he raised probably another $12 to $15 million. His campign announced the goal of $170 reached.
$120 to $125 million is where he started the month of March. today The Washington Post ran a story about Bush's ad buys in March. I was shocked to see he actually spent $42 million of his war chest for ad buys in March only. What does it mean? It means that he probably have less than $80 million in hand.
Let's see how is Kerry doing meanwhile. He started the month of March with $2.5 million in hand. During March he raised well over $10 million from internet (remember 10 million for 10 days?), he raised at least 7 million in CA alone the last couple of days and the days arround Super Tuesday he was raising more than million a day. How much money does it mean?
I'd say at least $30 million raised in March alone. It might be closer to $35 million - we don't yet know for sure.
Kerry spent a only $5 million in ad buys during March. That means he should have slightly above $30 million in hand at the end of March.
So, right now it is $80 million vs $30 million or something like that.
Suddenly the big money advantage that Bush supposedly should have is no longer present. Sure $50 million is a big enough advantage but in the next couple of months we can expect Kerry rasiing $20 to $25 million a month.
And between the 9/11 hearings, the Clarke testimony and the jobless recovery Bush will need to spend more and more just to keep the race where it is now - a dead heat 7 months before Election Day.
There is also a rosy prediction we can only dream of - another month with Bush spending $40 million and in May we can have candidate Kerry with more money than the biggest fund raiser in US history.