While I do not want to paint too rosy a picture, one can gleam some positive, optimistic insights concerning the state of the Massachusetts Republican Party, from or at least, here in the SouthCoast.
All too often we focus upon the negative yet there are rays of hope and light even here in one of the bluest areas of the bluest state!
Below are some quotes from today’s edition of the Standard-Times from a couple of articles both dealing with presidential campaign fundraising here in the SouthCoast.
While the difference in total contributions may be minimal, the division between the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates has changed significantly.
In 2004, President Bush received about $35,775 from local residents. Four years later, Sen. McCain received $64,454 through Oct. 15, an increase of nearly $30,000.
Contributions to Sen. McCain exceeded those to President Bush even though he was forced to shut down his fundraising operation on Sept. 4, the day he accepted his party’s nomination, because he agreed to accept public financing for the final campaign. Sen. Obama chose not to accept public financing and has been free to continue accepting donations.
The 2008 figures reveal a dramatic shift in donation patterns for some communities in the area.
Freetown residents, for example, contributed more than $12,000 to Sen. Kerry, but in this election cycle have donated $3,301 to Sen. McCain and nothing to Sen. Obama. Similarly, Westporters gave only $650 to President Bush in 2004 but contributed more than $9,000 to Sen. McCain.
Most jurisdictions that gave primarily to Sen. Kerry in 2004 donated to Sen. Obama this year, but there have been a few exceptions. Much like Freetown, Dartmouth residents donated more than $12,000 to Sen. Kerry but only $700 to Sen. Obama through Oct. 15.
Barney Keller, spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party, said he believes Sen. McCain’s political agenda and message are responsible for the increase in donations from area residents.
“John McCain has a history of reaching across the aisle to get things done,” Mr. Keller said via email. “As a ‘maverick,’ he appeals to Republicans, Democrats and independents, which makes him well suited to receive a lot of support of Massachusetts.”
In regards to John McCain’s keeping of his campaign pledge to accept public financing (a promise which Barack Obama violated):
Brock Cordeiro, state Republican committeeman from Dartmouth and Bristol County coordinator for the McCain campaign, said many Republicans would have liked the opportunity to continue contributing to their man.
“I think there’s some frustration out there,” he said. “Most people I know are small donors and they’re saying, ‘I’d like to donate $50 but I can’t,’ or, ‘I thought I could donate my $50, but I can’t.'”
I cannot tell you how many average voters, activists, & committees have come up to me and asked how they can donate to McCain-Palin, assumed that they could, or wished they had broken out the checkbook just a couple days or weeks sooner.
Surely, there is plenty of work to be done but looking at the SouthCoast GOP committees and their activists, it might be a tough hill to climb but we’re ready, willing, and are increasingly able to scale those heights to victory!