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Scott McInnis's fundraising numbers since scandal are grim -- so why's he pleased by them?

According to the Denver Post, Republican guv hopeful Scott McInnis's fundraising numbers during the second half of July plunged in the wake of his plagiarism problems -- i.e., revelations about the $300,000 he accepted for writing water articles partially nicked from a Colorado Supreme Court justice. But that's not the way McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy puts it.

"After a very challenging several weeks, which intensified in the midst of this two-week reporting period, Scott was very pleased and gratified that fundraising rebounded as the period came to a close," Duffy maintains.

In other words, the majority of the $41,472 McInnis collected during the two weeks in question arrived in recent days, implying that folks are getting back behind him after taking several days to absorb and process the bad news.

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Is there any way of definitively proving this assertion? Doubt it -- which is why it's a smart response. And Duffy is doing his best not to answer followup questions. Since the plagiarism stories broke, he hasn't agreed to speak to yours truly even once, despite repeated requests -- and he'd previously been notably accessible. Instead, he's sent out occasional, and very brief, statements like the one above via e-mail, a medium that's easier to control.

As for the candidate himself, he's sticking closely to talking points about uncomfortable subjects, even in debates with primary Republican competitor Dan Maes, and he's pledging to remain in the race if he wins the Republican primary, rather than dropping out and allowing party bosses to pick a replacement.

But, as Republican consultant Katy Atkinson told us in a July 22 interview, McInnis may not have a choice should he be unable to raise any cash. And if his wallet is empty in a few weeks, no amount of spin will make it seem full.

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