Sobhani closes in on $5 million mark

Nice work if you can get it.

Financial reports can be interesting reading, and it was interesting to find out that just 23 people have donated to Rob Sobhani’s upstart U.S. Senate campaign. 22 of them contributed a total of $27,595, an unknown number of others have chipped in $3,025, and Sobhani has dropped $4.61 million. Yes, you read that right: $4.61 million. All told, Sobhani has almost outspent all 23 of the other candidates who have ran for the Senate seat this cycle combined.

However, without Sobhani that distinction would fall to Ben Cardin as he’s spent $3.62 million himself. Dan Bongino is a distant third with just over $916,000 in spending. For comparison’s sake, those who ran for Maryland’s other Senate seat in 2010 spent just over $5.5 million in aggregate, with incumbent Barbara Mikulski accounting for just shy of $4 million and Republican Eric Wargotz spending just over $1.2 million. It appears that both the Democrat and Republican in this race are on track to spend in roughly that ratio.

Interesting as well is that just 8 of those 22 Sobhani contributors live in Maryland, with one being former Sixth District Democratic Congressional candidate Milad Pooran. Most of them also have what could be best described as ethnic names, and there is an expenditure from Sobhani’s report to a website called for advertising. Obviously there’s no law which prohibits those of a particular ethnicity from participating in politics, but I think this reflects statements he made in previous campaigns regarding his thoughts on being Iranian-American as opposed to a different, more common ethnicity.

Sobhani’s campaign yesterday released an internal poll which showed him at 20 percent support. (While Rob calls that a surge, it’s worthy of note that the number is little changed from the Maryland Poll last month while a recent Washington Post poll had him at just 14 percent.) But let’s say he gets that 20 percent and the total number of votes matches the 2004 election (the last Maryland U.S. Senate election in a Presidential year.) The 2004 turnout was 2,321,931 votes, which means 20% of that total is 464,386 votes. It also means that Rob may well spend over $10 per vote. That’s Presidential election territory, but Rob is running in just one state.

Of course, this third-person candidacy is possibly the greatest news Ben Cardin ever received because he can draw the same 54% he received last time and still win by 25 points because Sobhani draws far more votes from the Republican than he does the Democrat – it’s nearly a 60-40 ratio according to the Maryland Poll, which was conducted before Bongino got on the airwaves.

Starting tomorrow, though, Rob Sobhani will get his wish and be allowed to participate in three remaining debates: a radio debate on WOLB-AM in Baltimore tomorrow morning, a debate in front of a live audience here in Salisbury on October 30, and a televised debate on October 31 in Washington, D.C. Perhaps Rob can flesh out his platform, which so far has been rather sketchy.

2 thoughts on “Sobhani closes in on $5 million mark”

  1. Been following Sobhani since his domination of the airwaves. Got to admit his ads are quite impressive.

    Fact is my husband and I have been life-long democrat, but find his message quite refreshing and a welcome choice. We will be voting for him, because he makes a lot of sense.

    A big turn off is racist / ethnic shots taken by Baingoni and his supporters against the Sobhani candidacy simply reminding us why Baingoni has remained completely irrelevant in this state.

    The internal poll you site, places Sobhani at 35% in solid 2nd place and at striking distance to Ben Cardin. Republican would be wise to abandon this Baingano guy if they want to get rid of Cardin.

    A Kansas-born American (of Iranian descent) with an impecable education and solid track record of promoting American business is more than anyone else is offering. His money don’t bother us. Self made and hard-working sounds like an American story.

    A word of advise: Go after his platform, not his ethnicity or well-earned money. It just dont work any more; certainly not in favor of a radical right-winger called Baingoni. (BTW, what exactly is his ethnicity? It don’t sound like a WASP that arrived here on the Mayflower! But then again who has in this race?)

  2. I have been going after Rob’s platform, because I lack details about where he’s getting this $5.5 billion and the debate I heard this morning didn’t clear up this question. Rob talks about building 25,000 housing units in Baltimore but the question is: who will buy them? We can build 100,000 housing units in Baltimore but if the market isn’t there what good does it do? Rob’s a businessman, he should know that he needs demand for what he’s supplying.

    Or building a second deck on I-695. That’s a good idea, but the lead time on that is going to be several years at best by the time you do the required paperwork and permitting. I notice Rob isn’t talking about eliminating red tape. (Personally, I figure if Rob’s going to run for a national office like U.S. Senate, how about giving the Eastern Shore a little love and getting Delaware to build an interstate between I-95 at Wilmington and Salisbury?)

    As far as I know, Bongino is an Italian name but he was born and raised in New York. He doesn’t make a big deal of his ethnicity, unlike Sobhani and his Iranian background. Dan does make a big deal about growing up in a poor family, which is more relevant to the task at hand.

    Oh, and by the way: there is no such thing as a radical right-winger, just people who exhibit more common-sense conservatism than others. I don’t hear a lot of conservatism from Rob Sobhani.

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