Republican committees slightly outraised their Democratic counterparts in the third quarter as both parties gear up for next year’s legislative showdown.
Of the so-called big six committees, made up of the state committee, the senate and assembly committees from each party, Republicans outraised Democrats $609,304 to $551,532, according to figures released by the Election Law Enforcement Commission. The GOP remains more flush with spending money as well with a combined $834,300 among the three committees. But Democrats are not far behind with $623,487 on hand.
Montclair State Political Science Professor Brigid Harrison attributes the GOP’s third quarter advances to the national trend.
This is part of a larger national phenomenon where there is enormous enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the Republican Party and their candidates,” Harrison said.
As to whether the slight advantage will carry over into next year, when all 120 seats are up in the legislature and an all-out battle for control of both houses will be waged, Harrison said 12 months is an eternity in politics.
“Clearly right now the momentum is on the side of Republicans, but next year is a long way away,” she said. “They are riding high on the anti-Obama sentiment but also the good will (Gov. Chris) Christie has built up, but both of those may not be sustainable but I think it’s very smart of the state committee to use this ground swell of support an enthusiasm to pad their coffers. Now is the time o take advantage of that opportunity.”
And despite the slight edge in the latest quarter, year to date Republicans were outraised by Democrats as the party committees hauled in $1.692 million to the GOP’s $1.468 million.
The numbers are well off the pace set last year when all 80 assembly seats were up for election. Through the first three quarters of 2009, the total raised was more than double the total this year, when there are only three statewide races.