John Bel Edwards’ Numbers Are Finally In…

…and they’re what we expected.

He brought in $230,000 in the first quarter and spent $114,000. That leaves him with $894,000 in the bank.

Edwards, unlike Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle who have both done a far, far better job of fundraising than he has and have amassed a considerable amount more in their war chests, has a clear shot into the runoff. He’s the only Democrat in the race and he looks like he’ll maintain that status since yesterday, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu officially repudiated a gubernatorial run. That means all Edwards has to do is present himself as a plausible Democrat candidate, which he can do, and there is at least 30-35 percent of the vote available to him in the primary regardless of how much cash he has available.

But if all he could raise is $230,000 in a quarter David Vitter raised $1.1 million, Angelle raised $622,000 and Dardenne raised $519,000, it’s an indication he’s not going to be able to build a particularly vigorous campaign presence, and especially not one folks will see by way of media. And given Edwards’ lack of name recognition – he can get a pretty good chunk of the vote just with a D behind his name but to get anywhere near 50 percent he’s going to have to build a brand folks who are not Democrat voters will find attractive in a runoff.

It’s too early to read much into the numbers, and there isn’t much in them which fundamentally alters the basic structure of the race. Vitter and Edwards appear to hold roughly a third of the vote apiece and Dardenne and Angelle are fighting for the remainder. It’s going to take a significant development in the race to change that structure.



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