Don’t believe them.
While Gov. Deal’s campaign has roughly $4 million in the bank, he’s well behind every incumbent governor in the past 20 years at this same point in the cycle.
In fact, Gov. Deal is falling far short of the fundraising pace set by Georgia’s first Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Heading into his last legislative session before the re-election campaign in 2006, Perdue had $8.5 million cash-on-hand. Before Gov. Roy Barnes’ last legislative session as an incumbent, he posted over $10 million.
And neither of those governors had two primary challengers. Deal, on the other hand, is facing a real primary threat.
On top of this anemic fundraising haul, Gov. Deal’s re-election campaign reports that it has already spent a whopping $3.5 million, all before 2014 even began.
Gov. Deal has scrambled in the last six months to rake in campaign dollars, and he hasn’t even come close to numbers posted by previous sitting governors.
The governor just isn’t meeting expectations for an incumbent. That cloak of invisibility his team is trying to build around him is very thin indeed.
While Gov. Deal has fallen short of expectations, his presumptive General Election rival is exceeding expectations.
State Sen. Jason Carter has hauled in an impressive $1.3 million in just 55 days.
The bottom line is this: if these fundraising numbers are any indication, 2014 will be the most competitive gubernatorial election in years. While there is no doubt Gov. Deal will raise more than Jason Carter, his numbers are far short of the men who sat in his office before him.
The conservatives are desperate to make Gov. Deal seem invincible in the public eye, but we know better.