While glancing through Talking Points Memo, an advertisement caught my eye. "A Lot of People Supporting Tom Daschle Committee" (who, coincidentally, have the same URL as Tom Daschle's offical campaign site) have started a campaign to block out-of-state groups from running ads in support or, or against, any candidate in the state. Daschle has signed the pledge, but Thune refuses to do so. It sounds like a simple case of Democratic piety and Republican perfidy, right?
Not so fast. I immediately wondered about finances in the campaign, so I went to Open Secrets, and took a look at fundraising activities. The results were interesting, to say the least.
I looked first at the total amounts raised by each candidate. Unsurprisingly, Daschle (as the incumbent, and as the Senate Minority Leader) had a significant advantage over his opponent. Daschle has raised three times as much money as Thune (as of 23 June 2004). However, the geographical breakdown is what amazed me. Despite the fact that Daschle has a 3:1 advantage in overall fundraising, Thune has a more than 3:1 advantage in actual dollars raised in the state. Note that: Actual dollars, not a percentage of funds raised. Proportionally, Thune's in-state fundraising is nine times that of Daschle. Two of Thune's top five metro areas are within South Dakota, whereas none of Daschle's top five are in the state. The disparity in zip codes is more stark; two of Daschle's are in-state, while only three of Thune's are from out-of-state. Even the top industries page is revealing; Daschle's top industry is Lawyers; Thune's is retirees.
Of course Daschle wants to ban out-of-state ads; he already has all of the out-of-state money he needs. By demogoguing the out-of-state ads issue, he is attempting to paint Thune as mean-spirited and desperate, while ignoring the larger picture, that the Democratic Party raises a greater proportion of its money from out-of-state, as evidenced by the 2000 congressional race, 2002 congressional race, the 2002 senate race, or the 2004 congressional race. Only in the 2000 congressional race did the Democratic candidate receive more than 50% of his or her funds from within the state, and in that election, the out-of-state percentage was more than three times that of the Republican.
UPDATE: Although I did the searching myself, I wasn't the first to blog about it. Quentin Riggins was there first, although I was not aware of his blog or his posts until after I posted this.