Senator Scott Brown said Wednesday that he raised about $5 million between April and June, his best fund-raising quarter to date, but short of the $8.67 million that his Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, collected over the same period.
Brown’s fund-raising haul shows that even as he faces Warren, who heads the nation’s most formidable funding machine, he is remaining competitive and has more money than his challenger has in the bank, about $15.5 million to her $13.5 million.
The race is already among the nation’s most expensive, with both candidates launching early television advertisements that are certain to reach near-saturation levels as the November election draws nearer. Even in the last three months, a period when campaigns typically sock away their money, Brown spent about $4.4 million, and Warren spent about $6.1 million.
Both Warren and Brown, a Republican, are benefiting from a number of factors, including the involvement of activists in both parties who see the close race as pivotal for control of the Senate. The sides also covet the seat long held by Democrat Edward M. Kennedy for emotional reasons, with Democrats feeling wounded by Brown’s 2010 victory and Republicans seeing Brown’s presence as an important symbol of the party’s reemergence that began around the time of his victory.
The most recent figures coincide with the period when Warren battled questions about her unsubstantiated claims of Native American heritage. The controversy may have helped both candidates raise money, with Brown supporters seeing Warren’s vulnerability and her supporters feeling indignant. Brown, over the previous three months, had raised $3.4 million, about half Warren’s total.
Though Warren has outraised Brown since she entered the race last September, Brown continues to hold a financial advantage, in part because he had about $7 million left in his account from his 2010 special election campaign.
Brown’s campaign said Wednesday that two-thirds of his donors came from Massachusetts, a figure that is intended to draw a contrast with Warren, who has raised most of her itemized contributions, those over $200, from out of state. But the Brown campaign did not say how much money its in-state contributors gave, leaving open the possibility that he is relying on high-dollar donations from California, Florida, and other fund-raising hubs.
Both candidates are in fine financial shape. ‘They’re essentially going into this battle with the same resources.’
Both campaigns will have to submit a more detailed fund-raising report by the federal deadline on Sunday, though it can take several weeks for that information to be released to the public. Those reports will identify the donors who gave at least $200 by name, address, and occupation.
“We are extremely grateful for the strong showing of support for Senator Brown from the people at home who know him best,” John Cook, Brown’s finance director, said in a statement.
Democratic consultant Dan Payne said both candidates are in fine shape from a financial perspective, with ample money for polling, “endless focus groups,” paid staff, and television ads.
“The differences of $1 million or $2 million aren’t significant,” he said. “They’re essentially going into this battle with the same resources.”
Anticipating the deluge of campaign commercials, Payne warned: “We should all be afraid. We won’t have any regular TV ads in September or October, especially on the news.”
Even so, political action committees and other outside groups, which are spending big in other states, have so far stayed out of Massachusetts, bowing to an agreement signed by the candidates intended to curtail their influence. The pact has put added pressure on the candidates to raise their own money.
Todd Domke, a Republican consultant, said Brown is being outraised by Warren because conservatives and Tea Party activists who helped propel his ascent to the Senate in 2010 have become disillusioned as Brown tacked to the middle.
“For conservatives, their enthusiasm is more about seeing Elizabeth Warren lose than Scott Brown win,” Domke said.
In another closely watched race, Republican House candidate Richard R. Tisei revealed his own impressive fund-
raising tally on Wednesday: $568,000 from April through June.
Tisei, the former GOP leader of the Massachusetts Senate, is running against US Representative John F. Tierney, the Salem Democrat, who is facing a barrage of questions about a gambling operation that was run by his brothers-in-law and that sent his wife to jail for tax fraud last year.
Tisei, whose fund-raising has slightly outpaced Tierney’s over the last three quarters, said he now has $802,000 in the bank, after he raised $350,000 and $320,000 in the two previous quarters.
Tierney’s campaign has not yet released his fund-raising figures. He had about $795,000 in his account at the end of the last reporting period in April, after raising $326,000 and $161,000 in the two previous quarters.
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