Back in May three-time federal candidate Duane Sand told me, after I broke the news that he was running for either the House or the Senate (he remains undecided) that he’d already raised roughly $150,000 and had a goal of $200,000 by June 30th. According to a new filing from the FEC, however, not only did Sand miss his June 30th goal but he is tens of thousands of dollars shy of the $150,000 figure he originally told me.
In the last fundraising period, from April 1st through June 30th, Sand raised just $131,600.
The full FEC report is below, and one thing that’s interesting to note is the sheer number of out-of-state contributions. Sand took in only 8 contributions of more than $200 from North Dakotans – each of them appearing to be a husband and wife contribution judging by the last names – totaling just $2,000 in contributions. The rest came from out of state.
Contributions under $200 are reported as a lump sum without individual contributor info.
Fargo Forum reporter Kristin Daum describes Sands fundraising as “notable” being “second only to [Rep. Rick] Berg,” but that’s a rather facile analysis. It’s really not that impressive.
Going beyond the paltry fundraising among actual North Dakota voters, one regular critique of Sand’s campaign style is that while he raises a lot of money he also spends a lot to do it. If you look at his cash on hand, he ends the fundraising quarter with just $63,585 in cash on hand. If we take away the debt he’s reporting as well, that’s just $57,898.25 he has available.
Brian Kalk, by comparison, came through the last fund raising period with $38,313 cash on hand. Kalk’s fund raising was underwhelming and, frankly, so is Sand’s.
What this tells me is that there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm in North Dakota for either of these candidates. Which shouldn’t surprise us. Both are aggressive and talented campaigners, but Sand has lost federal races in North Dakota three times already by wide margins and Kalk is seen as a sort of blank slate who seems to want voters to project onto him whatever they want him to be.
I’d be very surprised if either of these candidates wound up with the House nomination (Sand may still be looking to challenge Berg for the Senate nomination), and if either did the NDGOP would be letting the Democrats back into a race they really didn’t have much hope of winning.