Monday, July 26, 2010

Power Of The Polls...Or An Attack That Backfired? Pruitt's Remarkable Last-minute Fundraising

Scott Pruitt's campaign for the Republican nomination for attorney general took flight in recent days with polls showing him leading Ryan Leonard and after a Leonard commercial attacking Pruitt began airing.

Whether the polls influenced donors, or the commercial angered some, or whether neither had any impact, is not fully known; what is known is that Pruitt has raised five times the sum Leonard has raised in the last two weeks and it is clear that something has propelled the rush to donate to Pruitt.

One expert observer notes that Leonard's acceptance of donations from numerous trial lawyers also has hurt him, although it seems unlikely that many voters are aware of it despite some publicity about it.

Ethics Commission reports show that since July 12th, Pruitt has raised $101,809, compared to $21,225 for Leonard, who has raised a substantial $912,000 overall to just $383,000 for Pruitt.

Leonard entered the race long ago and has campaigned across the state. His early fundraising gave him a huge advantage. Pruitt entered the race late and struggled to raise early money.

That appeared to change with polls, some scientific, some not, showing Pruitt leading Leonard.

Leonard's television commercial attacking Pruitt began airing two weeks ago and, some Pruitt supporters say, helped Pruitt more than it hurt him. The commercial questions Pruitt's attempts to win elective office and his credentials as a constitutional attorney.

The commercial also was a clear indication that Leonard's campaign acknowledged Pruitt was ahead in the race; only candidates who trail are inclined to attack opponents.

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