Annette Taddeo‘s campaign balance sheet was nearly upside-down in the first fundraising quarter of 2016.
Taddeo raised a paltry $219,682 during Q1, but the bad news for didn’t stop there. The former Miami-Dade Democratic Party chairwoman’s campaign also blew through $181,984 in expenditures according to new federal reporting data.
That left Taddeo with just under $38,000 net raised in three months in one of the nation’s most competitive districts.
Taddeo is seeking to oust Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Miami-based CD 26, a district Larry Sabato‘s Crystal Ball rates as a toss-up.
First, however, Taddeo must get past former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia in a Democratic primary. Garcia has raised $333,000 since announcing for the seat in February while spending just $42,000.
Though national Democrats are hoping a Donald Trump Republican nomination will boost their numbers in Congress by helping to overtake swing districts like Curbelo’s, $38,000 in three months wouldn’t flip a state House seat.
Curbelo, for his part, has nearly $1.75 million on hand ahead of the November election.
In anticipation of a possible negative “Trump effect” for national Republicans, Curbelo also said he would consider voting for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should Trump appear at the top of the GOP ticket.
The recent fundraising mark is the latest in a series of missteps for Taddeo which have some backers nervous her poorly-performing campaign could cost Dems a key race.
Early on her campaign, she was quoted by an Orlando activist as criticizing black Democrats as ungrateful complainers. Then she displayed a social tone deafness by claiming to live a “middle-class” lifestyle despite her $5.7 million net worth and 6,500-square-foot Miami mansion.
After the release of first-quarter fundraising figures last week, the chances for Dems to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in CD 26 look increasingly likely.
When voters have to decide between Garcia – whose questionable ethics history could be a serious liability – and Taddeo, whose campaign so far defines the word “lackluster,” no one should be surprised if they choose to skip the congressional ballot altogether.