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FEC Reports: The Republican Pollsters

Topics: 2008 , Pollsters , The 2008 Race

On Wednesday I posted numbers culled from the second quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings by the Democratic presidential campaigns to see how much they spent on their pollsters. Today, let's take a look at the Republicans.

All in all, the Republican candidates have spent less on polling in recent months than the Democrats, though that is largely because they have also been raising less money. The polling expenditures for candidates of both parties were roughly proportional to the amounts raised and spent, although as a percentage of all second quarter expenditures, Clinton, Obama and Romney devoted more to polling than their rivals.

The table that follows shows disbursements or debt logged in the second quarter (April through June) for the various campaign pollsters, as well as amounts categorized as "polling" or "survey research" in their financial reports. The table has no entries for Sam Brownback, John Cox, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo or Tommy Thompson because if these candidates had no polling expenditures that I could identify. And, of course, Fred Thompson has not yet declared his candidacy and so has no financial filings.

07-20%20republicans.png

Obviously, the Romney campaign spent much more on polling in the last quarter than any of the other Republicans, although Romney's polling budget is roughly in line with what the Obama and Clinton campaigns spent last quarter.

Finally, an important caution about all of these numbers: The line between payroll, travel reimbursement, "consulting" and polling services can be blurry, and the variations in the way the campaigns account for such expenses makes apples-to-apples comparisons by category very difficult. For example, pollster Lance Tarrance served as senior strategist and research director for the McCain campaign, and payments to him were listed under the "payroll" category. Does that expense qualify as the sort of "consulting" that pollsters typically provide to campaigns?

On the other hand, notice that the Giuliani campaign reported spending only $78,283 on "survey research," but paid $289,950 to their polling firm, the Tarrance Group (the firm founded by Lance Tarrance but now run by his former partners). That discrepancy results because the Giuliani campaign categorized most of they payment to their pollster as "political strategy consulting." So in this case, I assume that "consulting" probably included the cost of actual survey work.

Type corrected

 

Comments
Van den Budenmayer :

On Wednesday I posted numbers culled from the second quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings by the Democrat presidential campaigns...

No comment.

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Van den Budenmayer :

On Wednesday I posted numbers culled from the second quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings by the Democrat presidential campaigns...

No comment.

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Mark Blumenthal:

Typo corrected. And thanks for the "no comment" Van. Twice even.

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Van den Budenmayer :

Twice even.

And thanks for the correction. Correction. Correction.

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