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Cantwell outraises Baumgartner 3-to-1

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell raised more than three times as much money for her re-election campaign in the last quarter as her Republican challenger, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, raised in his effort to unseat her.

The Cantwell campaign reported last week she had raised more than $1 million in the three-month reporting period that ended Sept. 30. That brought her total to about $11.5 million for this election cycle, and she has about $2 million on-hand for the last five weeks of the campaign.

The Baumgartner campaign said today he had raised almost $312,000 in that same three-month cycle, which would bring his total contributions for the campaign to slighly over $1 million. Totals for expenses aren't yet available, a campaign spokeswoman said.

The two U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to  debate on Friday at the studios of Seattle's public television station, KCTS-TV. The debate will be taped, and will air in Spokane on KSPS-TV, Channel 7, on Oct. 16, after the second presidential debate. It's the only debate in the U.S. Senate race scheduled thus far.

Dems to hit Rossi on seminar

Expect Democrats to pound on Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi for several days about his upcoming speaking engagement on real estate.

It’s a seminar Tuesday at a Bellevue restaurant that asks a legitimate question, although not one for which many people are seeking an answer. To wit:

“Is now the time to buy a Waterfront Home?”

The seminar, put on by a real estate firm, is going to answer the question in the affirmative, listing some “great dealw” of $11 million on down on Lake Washington, citing low interest rates and  low closing costs.

Clearly a buyers’ market on  high end lake mansions. But maybe not the best speaking gig for someone running for the U.S. Senate in tough economic times.

Rossi: We’ve got more Facebook friends

Dino Rossi may have just introduced a new metric into the U.S. Senate campaign: Facebook friends. And he’s ahead.

A press release marking  his one week anniversary of getting into the race suggests he’s way ahead on that score: “In just the first week, we have signed up over 2,500 people online, attracted over 20,000 Facebook followers, third most of any US Senate candidate and nearly twice that of Senator Murray and raised over $600,000, including nearly $200,000 online.” 

So clearly, Murray’s going to have to get busy getting people to “friend” her or someone’s going to write about Rossi’s ongoing Facebook advantage, and what she’ll have to do to overcome it. And then, before you know it, they’ll be exploring any Twitter gap she might have, and then talking about how he’s so much better at campaigning in the new media.

One reason why Rossi may be doing so well: Go to his campaign website, and there’s not much to do except watch his YouTube announcement speech, signup to follow the campaign on Facebook or Twitter or by e-mail.

Or donate, of course.

But no long biography, no boringly detailed issue analyses or white papers, no calendar of campaign events…at least not as of Thursday afternoon. It’s the perfect site for web surfers with short attention spans.

Rossi to announce online at 7 a.m.

Dino Rossi will announce whether he’s getting into the U.S. Senate race Wednesday morning on his web site, with an online video announcement.

He sent out a press release to that effect and told his supporters on his Facebook page, and tweeted them from his Twitter account to watch for the big announcement at 7 a.m. So he’s got all his social media and Internet bases covered.

For those of you who want to sleep in: Count on him running. If you wake up later and find out he isn’t, check to see if the sun is rising in the West, pigs are taking flight and hockey is being played in hell.

Continuing to weigh the Rossi factor

Dino Rossi continues to be some Democrats’ favorite choice for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat.

Spin Control continues to be in the “I’m from Missouri” mode on that. (Actually, I am from Missouri, but that’s a whole separate narrative.)

On “will run” side of the scale, we can put the fact that Rossi is a featured speaker at the Washington Federation of Republican Women’s spring meeting in Chelan this weekend. But Patti Wieland, chairwoman of the Public Relations Committee, said Rossi’s been on the schedule since before talk of  him running for Senate surfaced.

“He’s invited because  he’s been a candidate in the past. It’s not because he’s going to run,” Wieland said.

On the “won’t run” side of the scale: State Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver continues to sign up big-name endorsers who would likely be hesitant to commit if they thought Rossi was getting in. Most recently, House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis and Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield, the GOP’s go-to guy on taxes and budgets, endorsed Benton.

Although candidates don’t officially get into the race until filing week in early June, by waiting he misses chances like the Republicans of Spokane County Senate candidates forum this evening at the Convention Center, where nine of the 11 candidates who have announced are expected to appear.

On second thought, passing up a cattle call with 10 candidates on the stage may just be smart.

Still, it seems that right now, the scale is tipped toward him staying out.