Tales from the Trail

Scott Brown trails Elizabeth Warren in Q2 donations

July 12, 2012

The race for the Senate seat from Massachusetts is shaping up as one of the marquee Congressional contests of the year, and likely the most expensive, as both candidates keep up a frenetic fundraising pace.

On Thursday, the campaign of Republican Senator Scott Brown said it hauled in $5 million for his re-election campaign in the second quarter – a strong result, but well short of his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, who on Monday announced she had pulled in $8.67 million for the quarter.

Warren raised $3.1 million for June alone, suggesting a weeks-long controversy over whether she had claimed Native American heritage to further her academic career did little to dent her popularity.

The Brown campaign said that the Republican, who stunned the political world in 2010 by capturing the Senate seat held for more than four decades by Democratic icon Ted Kennedy in a special election, had $15.5 million in campaign cash on hand at the end of June, up from $14.9 million as of March 31. Warren had $13.5 million on hand, up from $10.9 million, suggesting the pair will have the wherewithal to go neck-and-neck in television advertising between now and Nov 6.

Since jumping into the campaign last year, Warren, a Harvard law professor and former Obama administration official, has raised more than $24 million.

Brown’s campaign has portrayed Warren’s fundraising as driven by liberal out-of-staters. On Monday, a campaign spokeswoman said Warren was “largely dependent on out-of-state, extreme special interests and fellow Occupy protesters who share her radical tax, borrow and spend agenda.”

By contrast, Warren’s handlers have emphasized grassroots support within Massachusetts.

Some 40,500 Massachusetts residents have contributed to her campaign so far. The number of out-of-state donors is unknown. The Warren campaign said that 81 percent of the second-quarter donations were $50 or less, and more than half were of $25 or less.

“Elizabeth Warren has fought hard to create a level playing field for middle class families. It is those men and women who are fueling this campaign,” said campaign manager Mindy Myers.

The Warren-Brown race is regarded as a toss-up. A Real Clear Politics average of five opinion polls taken since early June gives the edge to Brown by just 0.2 percentage points, 44.2 percent to 44.0 percent. In such a close race, Democrats are hopeful that a strong turnout for President Barack Obama – who won Massachusetts by almost 26 points in 2008 – will give Warren the edge.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Adam Hunger

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