Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren raised an impressive $5.7 million in the last three months of 2011, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
Warren, a Harvard law professor and former advisor to President Barack Obama, is seeking to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who was elected in 2010 in an upset win over Democrat Martha Coakley. Brown was the first Republican to win a Senate seat in Massachusetts since 1972.
Brown’s campaign raised $3.2 million in the final quarter of 2011, according to a statement his campaign released Monday.
Warren is playing catch-up in fundraising. As of Sept. 30 she had $3 million in cash on hand to Brown’s $10.5 million.
The Globe said Wednesday that Brown now has $12.8 million in cash on hand to Warren’s $8.5 million.
Yet to be fully felt is the effect of spending by outside pro-Warren and pro-Brown groups that are not run by their campaigns or coordinated with them. But with outside, corporate and labor groups now free to run adds directly calling for a candidate’s defeat or victory, a candidate’s own fundraising prowess may be even more important than it used to be.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter said, “With the slew of unregulated, negative ads already coming from Karl Rove and other Scott Brown supporters on Wall Street, it is critical that every campaign has the grassroots support to set the record straight.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh called Warren “an adopted candidate of the Hollywood and San Francisco elites” but said both candidates ultimately would have enough money to run competitive races.
Yet to be reported are fundraising figures for candidates in several other competitive Senate races.
According to the non-partisan Cook Political Report, there are seven Democratic-held seats that are toss-ups: those in Missouri, New Mexico, Montana, Hawaii, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition another Democratic-held seat in Nebraska, being given up by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson, is rated by the Cook Political Report as “likely Republican.”
Among Republican-held seats, the Cook Political Report rates two as toss-ups: the one in Massachusetts and Sen. Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada.
The current party lineup in the Senate is 51 Democrats, two independent who caucus with the Democrats, and 47 Republicans.