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Senate Fundraising Winners and Losers

October 17, 2012
Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona: Carmona's challenge to GOP Rep. Jeff Flake only recently looked like it could be successful, as polls show a very close race between the two, and outside money has begun streaming into the race (Club for Growth Action just announced an additional $900,000 in Arizona spending to back up Flake). Carmona outraised the long-favored Flake, bringing in a solid $2.2 million to Flake's nearly $1.9 million, as the congressman spent part of the quarter fighting off a primary challenge. Flake still edges Carmona in cash on hand, however: $1.5 million to $1.4 million. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.: Baldwin outpaced former Gov. Tommy Thompson by $1 million for the quarter, raising $4.6 million to Thompson's $3.6 million. The Republican's campaign went dark on television after the primary, as he spent all his money in the lead-up to the August GOP primary. Baldwin maintained a significant cash on hand advantage after the third quarter, finishing September with $3.5 million in the bank, compared to $2 million for Thompson. That said, outside groups on both sides are blanketing the state with TV ads, making Baldwin's cash advantage less meaningful. Losers Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.: Okay, so we still haven't seen Akin's numbers yet. But we still feel comfortable putting him on our losers list. Last week, an Akin adviser said the campaign had raised more than $1 million since the GOP establishment abandoned Akin. Even if that's the case, it may not all be before the September 30 deadline -- and meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., brought in $5.8 million. The NRSC and Crossroads GPS have not swooped back in to help Akin, and the congressman's tiny ad buys suggest he has very little money left for the closing weeks. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.: Berkley had a perfectly respectable fundraising quarter -- she trailed GOP Sen. Dean Heller, but not by too much ($1.9 million to her nearly $1.7 million). But Heller finished the quarter with more than twice her cash in the bank, ending September with more than twice Berkley's total: $1.9 million to $925,000. Some Democratic senators sent out fundraising solicitations for Berkley on Wednesday. She'll have outside help, to be sure, but so will Heller. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.: Looking for evidence that Casey's campaign didn't see the sudden rise of Republican Tom Smith coming? Compare their fundraising reports. Casey, an incumbent senator with an iconic name in Pennsylvania politics, raised $1.5 million during the third quarter. Smith, who like many self-funders has struggled to raise money for his campaign, bested Casey, bringing in $1.6 million. Smith also loaned his campaign another $10 million for good measure. Suddenly finding himself in a tight race, Casey finished September at a cash on hand disadvantage: Smith ended the quarter with $7 million in the bank compared to $5.2 for Casey. And Smith could always pour in more of his own money, if necessary. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.: Donelly raised a respectable $1.55 million in the third quarter, but his opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, almost doubled him up, bringing in $3 million for the quarter. Perhaps more distressing for Donnelly, he finished September with less than $1 million in the bank, meaning he will probably need to rely heavily on the DSCC and Majority PAC to keep up with the TV spending by Mourdock and the legion of conservative outside groups running ads on his behalf.
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