Anti-Voter ID amendment group trails in polls but leads in cash
ProtectMyVote.com, the outside spending organization dedicated to passing the Voter ID amendment, has been consistently ahead in the polls, but behind in fundraising for months compared to its opposition. That trend continued with the 42-day pre-general election disclosures to the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, which reveal the group to be well behind on cash yet again.
As of September 18, ProtectMyVote had raised $230,000 during 2012, meaning the group received about $95,000 since the July pre-primary reporting deadline. With $150,000 donated personally, major conservative donor Joan Cummins is still responsible for the majority of the pro-amendment giving. Cummins’ contributions came in the form of three $50,000 checks, the last of which arrived July 31. Aside from Cummins, the group has managed to draw a small number of significant donations from other individuals in recent months, including a September 4 contribution of $10,000 from former Target CEO Bob Ulrich.
On the other side of the issue, the anti-amendment Our Vote Our Future reported nearly $599,000 raised during 2012. Of that total, $238,000 has come in the form of in-kind donations from sympathetic organizations, including labor and advocacy groups. TakeAction Political Fund, the spending arm of Take Action Minnesota, has contributed $101,000. Of that ,$51,000 came in-kind, with the other $50,000 coming as a check on August 30. ISAIAH, a collection of progressive clergy and congregations, has contributed a total of $66,000 in-kind, all of it reported on September 18.
Our Vote Our Future maintains marked supremacy in cash on hand: with $254,000 in the bank, the organization is more than seven times richer than ProtectMyVote. ProtectMyVote has $33,000 in cash on hand.
Much of ProtectMyVote’s expenses are related to signage and advertising. To date, the organization has spent $16,000 on Facebook ads. Our Vote Our Future’s expenses are similar, though the group also spent $50,000 on focus group consulting and polling from a Washington, D.C.-based firm called Feldman Group.
Most polls have given the pro-amendment effort a decided advantage, though the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll proved an outlier. Released earlier this week, that poll of likely voters found the amendment supported by only 52 percent, or 2 percent above the 50 percent threshold required for passage.