California’s GOP U.S. Senate nominee Elizabeth Emken may have won her primary, powered mainly by slate mailers and an aggressive talk show circuit, but according to news reports her fundraising has sagged since she won her primary. The San Jose Mercury reports Emken raised only $54,000 from mid-May to the end of June, and has over $260,000 in debt. There are rumors that lawsuits are eminent against Emken for her campaign debt already accrued.
And incumbent Democrat senator Diane Feinstein, on the other hand, raised four times as much as Emken in the same period.
Feinstein is the odds on favorite to win the Senate election, but polls in California consistently show her getting only a nudge over 50% of the vote, leaving open to conjecture where that almost 50% of the rest of the vote will go in November. Surely, Emken is not anywhere near Feinstein in the surveys, but then again, Feinstein is not racking up huge supra-majority favorables either.
Normally, the fundraising arm of the Republican National Committee – the National Republican Senatorial Committee – would step into a race like the Emken-Feinstein race, after the GOP primary, and start pouring back into California some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they raise here to help Senate candidates across the county. But according to the Mercury article, that won’t happen this election, which states that the NRSC “will target its money to states where seats are truly up for grabs.”
The irony is, the NRSC official who is most responsible for recruiting U.S. Senate candidates nationwide is…drumroll….Carly Fiorina, who ran and lost against Barbara Boxer in California’s 2010 election for U.S. Senate. Fiorina, bought a 6.1 million dollar home in Lorton, Virginia last year where she now also serves on a state college board as appointed by the Virginia GOP Governor. Is Fiorina a California resident, or a Virgina resident now? It is an interesting qustion, but more importantly, will former California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina go to bat for current California GOP Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken to help Emken make Feinstein at least put up a battle in 2012 to keep her seat in the liberal Democratic column? Many observers think that’s unlikely, especially since Fiorina has a campaign debt herself still owing for her 2010 race of $500,000 or more.
The added irony is that both Virginian or Californian NRSC official and debt-ridden wealthy former Senate candidate Fiornia will share the podium with debt-ridden California U.S. Senate candidate Emken as the highlighted speakers at the upcoming California Republican state convention in Burbank in just a few weeks. We wonder if Fiorina will meet with Emken and pledge her help in getting NRSC support for Emken. We sadly figure it is not likely.