About a week ago, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent an email to her supporters suggesting that she could be “outspent” in her campaign against Republican Wendy Long. This claim struck many as extremely incredulous, as she’s a prodigious fundraiser who’s already raised over $10 million so far, compared with a tiny fraction of that amount by Ms. Long. We asked Ms. Long about this during her press conference where she was endorsed by former Gov. George Pataki, causing her to similarly react with skepticism.
“I don’t know why she’s saying that. I don’t think it probably has any basis in fact,” Mr. Long answered. “We ran a very lean primary campaign, she has $10 million dollars.”
Ms. Long then connected the claims to her continued criticism of Ms. Gillibrand using the phrase “War on Women” to describe the Republican agenda regarding reproductive rights, equal pay legislation and the like.
“I don’t know why she’s saying that. She’s obviously trying to raise more money,” she added. “It’s her scare tactics, just like her phony ‘War on Women’ scare tactics. I think she uses these things to get people worked up and try and get more campaign money.”
The fundraising gap is one of the reasons Ms. Long has a steeply uphill battle to climb, however. New York’s population base is centered in an incredibly expensive media market, and in a blue state that President Obama is expected to easily carry, a Republican needs a hefty campaign war chest to get his or her message out and sway countless default Democratic voters.