Despite crowing from Republicans and Gov. Rick Scott about having raised nearly three times as much money in the first quarter of 2014 as Scott’s likely Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, Crist is proclaiming himself happy with his fundraising.
Crist says regardless of how much Scott and the Republicans raise, his campaign is outperforming all past Democratic candidates and even his own past Republican campaigns, and will have enough money to compete.
“Find someone to high-five,” was the headline on a Crist email to supporters late Thursday over the fundraising reports for the first three months of 2014.
The money numbers alone don’t look that great for Crist.
The state Republican Party, the Scott campaign and Scott’s independent committee, Let’s Get to Work, raised a combined $17 million in the quarter, compared to about $5.8 million for state Democrats, Crist’s campaign and his independent committee, Charlie Crist for Florida.
The biggest chunk of the GOP haul was the party fundraising, $10.3 million. Not all that money will be used to benefit Scott -- it also includes money raised by Republican legislators and others.
But Republicans say Scott raised about 60 percent of the $10.3 million, and that 60 percent likely will be used to benefit his campaign.
Crist spokesman Eric Conrad said the measure of the campaign will be people, not money, and the most important figure is the number of contributors to Crist’s effort, nearly 11,000 of them, including 2,000 new contributors in March.
“This is going to be a grass-roots campaign with a lot of people getting involved. We’re going to go back to those people as volunteers, telling their friends to vote, having bumper stickers on their cars,” as well as possible further contributions, Conrad said.
“Their campaign is about having as much money as possible,” he said. “Ours is about people.”