More Than 75 Percent of Senate Candidate Tom Campbell’s Financial Support Came From a Man Named Tom Campbell

State Senator Tom Campbell appears in a video ad for his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign. YouTube

It’s the same Tom Campbell, in case you didn’t get the joke.

I’m probably not as funny as I think I am.

Anyway, this is not so good:


The problem which has dogged Campbell’s campaign since he announced it is a perceived (by many including this observer) lack of enthusiasm for his campaign.

Many people in North Dakota politics like Tom Campbell. Not so many people think he’s credible as a strong candidate for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.

Campbell and his supporters have denied that, put the proof is in the puddin’. When 75 percent of your campaign’s take is coming out of your own pocket, when you’ve raised just roughly $250,000 from people who aren’t the candidate himself compared to the $7.7 million Heitkamp has raised, it’s a problem.

A big problem.

Campaign donations aren’t a perfect metric for measuring candidate popularity. If it was the candidates who raise the most money would win every election. But people who raise the most money do win most of the time, and that’s probably because raising lots of money is an indicator of popularity.

Judging by his fundraising so far, Campbell isn’t very popular with people not named Tom Campbell.

When Heitkamp does file her required FEC disclosures – she likes to announce her fundraising totals early so that they will overshadow any scrutiny of where the money came from – we’ll probably find that she’s getting most of her money from outside North Dakota.

In a close race that might matter, but how can anyone argue that this point that the race between Campbell and Heitkamp is close?

If he’s not careful his campaign is going to start looking like an exercise in vanity.

Republicans had better hope that Gary Emineth, who made his campaign for the Senate this week, is more appealing to campaign donors than Campbell has been so far. If he’s not, and absent some third alternative, Heitkamp’s going to blow the NDGOP out of the water.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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