Republican Candidates Outpacing Democrats in Race for Campaign Cash

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Republican candidates have pulled ahead in the bare-knuckles race for campaign cash, registering big hauls in the final weeks and months before Election Day.

Though the Democratic congressional campaign arms are outpacing their GOP counterparts in the fundraising race, individual GOP candidates are consistently attracting the most money.

In Nevada, Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle reported raising a whopping $14 million in the critical third quarter, compared with less than $3 million for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In Kentucky, Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul raised $2.7 million in that period, $1 million more than Democrat Jack Conway. According to local reports, Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell raised $3.8 million between the end of August and the end of September, while Democrat Chris Coons raised just over $1 million.

The late-in-the-game infusions of cash give the campaigns a needed boost to get out their message in the final two weeks of the races. The Washington Post reported that overall, House GOP candidates raised $104 million compared with $89 million for Democrats in the third quarter; Senate GOP candidates in the most competitive races raised almost $60 million, compared with less than $40 million for Democrats.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Democrats are effectively on defense in the key races on the Senate map.

"The continued energy and enthusiasm on the Republican side, coupled with our strong financial resources, puts Senate Republicans in a very strong position as we move toward Election Day," NRSC Director Rob Jesmer said in a written statement.

The NRSC has actually fared worse than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this year. The NRSC raised $8.3 million in September and has $19 million on hand, while the DSCC raised $15.5 in September and has $25.6 million on hand.

On the House side, the National Republican Congressional Committee raised $11.2 million in September, compared with $15.9 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC claimed these numbers showed "increasing momentum" for Democratic candidates. The group cited a "significant spike" in small-dollar donations, which it claimed was in response to heavy spending by special-interest groups supporting conservative candidates.

But in the governors' races, the umbrella Republican campaign group is crushing its Democratic counterpart.

The Republican Governors Association reported a $31 million fundraising total in the third quarter -- that's compared with $10 million for the Democratic Governors Association, a number the group touted as a record breaker.

Where Republicans are leading, Democrats have questioned their fundraising sources.

After Angle reported a $14 million haul, Reid's campaign questioned where that money was coming from.

"Any number Angle may assert to generate media buzz is highly suspect," the campaign said, suggesting her fundraisers were "cooking the books."

But the NRSC touted Angle's numbers, and the Angle campaign reported late last week that it had raised $3 million in just the first 13 days of October.

"We have beaten Harry Reid at his own game. We vastly outraised Reid's special-interest money with our grassroots support and have all the momentum going into the home stretch," spokesman Jarrod Agen said.