Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Denver Post Spin Begins

The Denver Post claims that Mark Udall is "way ahead" of Bob Schaffer in the fundraising race to collect $15 million. A reader would assume that the lead is so insurmountable that Schaffer should quit now.

Washington - Former Congressman Bob Schaffer starts his race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat with $683,000, far less than the $2.5 million war chest of his Democratic opponent.

Schaffer had six weeks to collect his $717 thousand. He couldn't start until he was an announced candidate. Mark Udall brought $1 million into the race from his 2CD campaign. While it has been no secret that both would run, Campaign finance laws allowed Udall to collect funds since 2006 while they prohibited Schaffer from fundraising.

Put in that light, Schaffer collected his $717 in six weeks at a rate of over $100,000 a week. Udall managed in 75 weeks to make it to 2.5 million. That pro-rates to about $30,000 a week, which is not all that impressive.

Instead of acknowledging that Schaffer could lawfully only collect his funds for six weeks, the Post implied that he had the full quarter:

Udall's campaign said he raised $1.1 million in the three months ending June 30. His paperwork was not available Monday.

Schaffer, 44, raised $717,000 in the same period. A statement from Schaffer's campaign said he raised the money in about six weeks.

In truth, this first campaign finance report suggests that Bob Schaffer is the stronger fund raiser and that the Mark Udall campaign is not "way ahead."

Anne C Mulkern, the author of this gem, must have assumed that no one has ever taken a statistics class. The first words out of my statistics professor's mouth were "Figures don't lie, but liars can figure." This was not journalistically ethical reporting.

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