CLOSING THE GAP. Jim VandeHei reported in yesterday's paper that, based on figures released so far, the fundraising gap between the GOP and the Democrats is much smaller this year than in past cycles. Considering that the importance of raising money isn't exactly a secret, these numbers tend to get weirdly neglected in a lot of punditry. It should be obvious that one important reason that we can have a whole series of close elections that all break toward the Republicans is that the Republican base has a lot more money than the Democratic base and, consequently, the Republicans usually wind up with a lot more cash to spend on campaigns.

The narrowing of the gap seems to be due to a combination of improved Democratic performance and some demoralization in the conservative ranks. The question is whether it will be possible to sustain anything remotely resembling parity into the future, when one assumes that the sense of crisis on the left and the sense of disgruntlement on the right will fade somewhat.

--Matthew Yglesias

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