Remember Deborah Honeycutt? The little-known Republican running for Congress in a Democratic stronghold down in Georgia who used a shady direct-mail company to raise national money for her long-shot candidacy?
Well, Honeycutt — who lost by 38 points last time around — is giving Democratic incumbent David Scott a little run for his money.
CQ Politics today changed the race from “Safe Democrat” to “Democrat Favored” after recent polls gave Scott just a five point lead over Honeycutt.
And there seem to be a few familiar factors at work in Honeycutt’s rise in this heavily Democratic district.
Scott’s campaign alleges that Honeycutt is concealing her party affiliation — she fails to identify as Republican on her literature and some of her mailers reportedly bear the name “Democrats for Good Government,” though Honeycutt denies knowledge of the group — causing voters to mistake her for a Democrat.
Second and perhaps, most familiarly, Democrats point to her high fundraising numbers. Despite running as a virtual unknown, she’s raised $4.7 million through Oct. 15 — a staggering number compared to Scott’s $1 million.
But unlike Scott, Honeycutt has raised her money primarily through direct mail company BMW Direct which gobbles up most of the proceeds in fees. When we wrote about her in July, Honeycutt had raised $1 million in the second quarter — and spent $736,000 in fees to BMW Direct. The real surprise here is that Honeycutt has manged to do anything with a campaign that’s burning through such huge portions of its donations.