With the elections only a couple of weeks past, we Republicans can still feel the sour taste of Gov. Romney's defeat and the triumph of a House victory. Luckily this is politics and there is no time to linger or morn. We have war chests to build for our next battle.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the first out of the fundraising gate and held a fundraiser for reelection on November 7. His goal is to intimidate potential challengers by building an unmatchable pool of donors and donations.
His plan is working. McConnell ended 2011 with $4.25 million cash on hand and is on track to crack $5 million in the bank in his next FEC filing. Remember that the senator still has three more years before his next election.
But McConnell is hardly alone in his lofty ambitions:Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) is holding a breakfast fundraiser at the National Democratic Club in Washington on Friday, requiring a minimum donation of $500. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will be the special guest at a Thursday breakfast for Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana), who isn't up for reelection until 2016. Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) is holding his annual birthday bash in Altoona, Iowa, on Saturday where Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will be a guest of honor.
So what are the benefits to starting one campaign trail just steps after the old one ends? The world of campaigning is changing quickly. Candidates need the financial resources to do a full postmortem of the 2012 cycle so they can begin prototyping and testing the processes and systems they will need to succeed in the next cycle.
In addition, the best way to make important friends and build political capital is to support your party's candidates through donations and fundraisers. That means that candidates are already hitting the fundraising trail as Rubio is for Bransted and creating their own PACs. Having your own PAC is a great way to support like minded candidates.
Building a political brand and organization takes time and money. The winners this cycle were the ones who started early and planned ahead thus giving them the wiggle room to meet the dynamic political playing field.
The Christmas season only goes from October to December for the retail world, but the political season is now round the clock, 12 months a year. So when are you holding your next fundraising event?
Erik currently runs sales and marketing for CMDI, the largest Republican fundraising technology platform.