In the world of Alaska politics, it’s near impossible to judge the impact that any single story or development will have on a race. Campaigns conduct internal polling that sometimes gets released, but the best look we get outside the final vote are the fundraising reports candidates file with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
On Feb. 20, KTVA published a bombshell report diving into the troubled legal past of Anchorage mayoral candidate Rebecca Logan, who’s the leading challenger going up against incumbent Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in the April 3 election. The report detailed a 2010 arrest for driving under the influence, financial disputes that were part of what Logan said was a messy divorce and a failure to garnish her own wages.
Though it didn’t get wide play with the other Anchorage-area media outlets, the story has garnered plenty of attention within Anchorage’s political circles causing some conservative players to hold their distance from the GOP-endorsed Logan.
The latest fundraising reports covering the publication of the KTVA story were released this week. The reports cover a period from Feb. 2 to March 2.
The reports, when combined with the earlier financial disclosures, show that Logan’s fundraising didn’t bust in the wake of the story, but neither did it boom. It’s held relatively constant since she began fundraising for the race late last year with a slight uptick in pace in February.
To date she’s raised a total of $71,321 in campaign contributions, according to her latest APOC report. Between the publication of the KTVA story and the end of the fundraising period, Logan raised $8,570 about 40 percent of the 30-day reporting span.
While the KTVA story didn’t seem to sink Logan’s fundraising efforts, Berkowitz’s already-sizable lead in fundraising exploded.
In the span between the publication of the KTVA report and the end of the filing period, Berkowitz raised $63,000 or about 75 percent of the reporting period’s total fundraising.
A campaigner not affiliated with either campaign speculated that the uptick in contributions could be due to on-the-fence donors seeing Berkowitz as a safer investment considering Logan’s past. The implications of fundraising aren’t so much a measure of voter enthusiasm, the campaigner suggested, but donor perception of voter enthusiasm.
Others wondered if fundraising for Berkowitz would have, in fact, been higher without the story because donors began to see Berkowitz as a more sure-fire pick.
Either way, the state of the fundraising means both candidates will enter the race with wildly different pictures.
To date Berkowitz has totaled $185,394.30 to Logan’s $71,321.29. The cash-on-hand figures paint a particularly grim picture for Logan at $8,006.38 in the bank to Berkowitz’s $94,463.32