It's Never Too Early to Claim a Little Victory

Having watched several campaigns play out over the last several years, the first rule of thumb seems to be--half your message should be why people should vote for you, the other half should be convincing people that everyone else is already voting for you.

It's an "I'm winning and you should get on board" approach to campaigning. And it's why candidates make such a big deal about anything that might give them ammunition to support the claim that they're ahead in the race. So of course, that means talking a lot about fundraising.

Today Larry Phillips kicked out a press release boasting about his dramatic boost in campaign contributions from February to March, which his campaign is calling "a significant demonstration of Phillips' increasing momentum."

It gets a little fuzzy with the in-kind help and other revenue streams to a campaign, but according to the Secretary of State's Web site, Phillips picked up more than $68,000 in donations during March after raising only $25,000 in February. Constantine has been, well, more constant, raising $45,000 last month, compared with $47,000 the month before.

So, yes, Phillips won for February, though the difference between the candidates is pretty negligible in terms of actual cash contributions since they started running ($106,000 for Phillips, $93,000 for Constantine). Both will have to raise a lot more money to have a real shot at the seat.

It's important to note that new-to-the-race Susan Hutchison hasn't filed her first report yet. And it remains to be seen what kind of fundraising power State Sen. Fred Jarret and potential candidate Rep. Ross Hunter will have. They can't start collecting cash until the session ends later this month.

Another fun factoid (okay, maybe the only "fun" factoid) from the reporting, Constantine's given first name is James. Who knew?

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