In a special election
to fill the House seat of Tim Scott
(R-SC), who in turn filled the Senate seat of Jim DeMint
, disgraced former governor Mark Sanford
proved that it's the district, not the money. Byron Tau writes at Politico
In South Carolina this spring, Democrats played the big money game better than the GOP.
Independent liberal groups, national Democrats and influential donors spent nearly $1 million to flood the airwaves in support of Elizabeth Colbert Busch — outspending Mark Sanford’s conservative allies by more than 5-to-1.
“Outside spending done right can help push a good candidate over the finish line — but it can’t perform miracles with hostile electorates or abysmal candidates,” said Jonathan Collegio, a Republican consultant and spokesman for Karl Rove’s American Crossroads — which stayed clear of the South Carolina race.
Colbert Busch was the recipient of almost $900,000 in outside spending from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC alone.
Sanford, by contrast, was cut loose by the national Republican Party — with the National Republican Congressional Committee contributing nothing to his race following reports that he had trespassed in his ex-wife’s home. Crossroads, the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity and other top conservative groups also skipped the race.
On the traditional fundraising side the equation, Democrats also had the advantage. Between late February and mid-April, Colbert Busch out-raised Sanford significantly. She raised almost $900,000 between late February and mid-April, and $1.1 million total, according to her most recent campaign finance report. Her bid was aided by her comedian brother’s star power and a who’s who of Democratic stars who helped fundraise for her in two East Coast fundraising stops.
In the same time period, Sanford raised just under $400,000. According to his last report, Sanford raised almost $800,000 through late April — but he faced a competitive primary election, unlike Colbert Busch.