The Campaign Spot

What Happens When an Incumbent Stops Fundraising?

Spot the pattern.

February 1, 2011:

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who still hasn’t made his reelection plans known, raised just over $12,000 during the final quarter of 2010.

February 9, 2011:

Virginia Senator Jim Webb plans to announce today that he won’t seek reelection.

April 18, 2011:

Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl didn’t feel like doing any fundraising last quarter . . . You figure he would have received at least one donation by accident.

May 13, 2011:

Multiple media sources are reporting that Sen. Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, is announcing his retirement today.


Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., got a much tougher district courtesy of redistricting, and his most recent FEC report shows he got contributions in the fourth quarter from just two individual North Carolinians.

Yesterday Shuler denied that he would run for governor of North Carolina in 2012. And obviously, it’s not certain that Shuler will retire. But when an officeholder who will face a tough reelection bid suddenly loses interest in fundraising, well . . . it seems to be a leading indicator.


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