No, it’s no shocker that Democrats have big problems in fundraising after their record from the past two years. It’s not even a shocker that Wall Street donors have shifted their money to the GOP; that started a year ago, and has only accelerated since. The news that Tony Podesta’s lobbyists have begun betting on a Senate takeover by Republicans is a little surprising. From John Byrne and Raw Story, perhaps this gives a little more credence to the idea that the GOP could take both chambers in a blowout midterm cycle:
The majority party often faces the ire of the population-at-large (and businesses) during the midterm election cycle of a new president. Democrats lost seats during the first term of President Bill Clinton.
But even the firm controlled by the brother of Clinton’s former chief of staff is shifting their donations in a conservative direction.
“Tony Podesta is one of the best-connected rainmakers in the nation’s capital, with a web of personal contacts stretching back 42 years and six Democratic presidential candidates. His brother John was Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff and an adviser on President Barack Obama’s transition team,” the Chronicle reporters note. “But in an uncharacteristic twist this year, people at Tony Podesta’s powerhouse lobbying firm have chosen to donate $32,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to help its chairman, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.”
Cornyn and his allies have convinced a quarter of the 478 active political action committees that gave to the DSCC in 2008 to cut or eliminate donations to Democrats this year.
Think of lobbyist support as an Old School form of Intrade. They have to deal with the leadership of whichever party takes control of each chamber next year. Betting on the GOP for the House would hardly be news; Nancy Pelosi has looked doomed as Speaker for months, and that news just keeps getting worse. However, big donations to the NRSC look as though Podesta’s team thinks that the GOP have a real shot at running the Senate as well as the House in 2011. It’s hard to imagine that this shift came without the approval of Tony Podesta or even without his knowledge.
And if Podesta has given up on a Democratic-run Senate, well ….