The best spin coming from the Republican Party in the wake of Christine O'Donnell's primary victory in Delaware this past Tuesday has been that a GOP already fueled with conservative enthusiasm is now even more energized.
Appearing on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, RNC Communications Director Doug Heye relayed that the committee had received a $10,000 donation on Wednesday "because they were excited about Christine O'Donnell's win."
Reports emerged shortly thereafter that O'Donnell herself raised more than $1 million online on Wednesday, a staggering total that could go a long way in a state like Delaware.
How wary this makes Democrats is an open question and not just because the going bet is that no amount of money can make O'Donnell palatable to general election voters.
The fundraising benefits, to a certain extent, cut both ways. Daniel McElhatton, a spokesman for Democratic Senatorial candidate Chris Coons, told the Huffington Post on Thursday that in the 24 hours since O'Donnell's win, more than 1,000 online donations had been made to their campaign bringing in more than $125,000. This falls well short of O'Donnell's haul. But Coons's people didn't make a broad fundraising push. And the County Executive's campaign has yet to be granted the same type of national spotlight as his competitor.
"A lot of these folks are coming back around and new people are entering now," said McElhatton. "Certainly the dynamics have changed but in terms of our campaign the messaging point that really hasn't changed all that much. This race was always about Chris talking to Delawareans and particularly Democrats... now we can talk to Dems and moderate Republicans."
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, likewise, has sent out several fundraising appeals since the Delaware primary took place, playing up not just O'Donnell's eccentricities but those of the entire Tea Party movement.
"As Republicans nominate more and more extremists, our supporters become more and more energized to protect the Democratic majority," said DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz.
Worth keeping in mind is that Coons started the general election portion of the campaign with a massive cash on hand advantage. According to the latest Federal Election Commission filings: O'Donnell had, before Wednesday, $20,374 in the bank. Coons had $944,230. Adjusted for the immediate post-primary fundraising, the totals are now, roughly, even.
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