WASHINGTON — Here are the big numbers from the latest round of candidate fundraising reports — covering the period between July and September — released by the Federal Election Commission last week:
• Michele Bachmann raised $4.1 million for her presidential bid, well behind the fundraising totals from leading Republican presidential candidates. Bachmann spent nearly $6 million on her campaign over three months.
• Tim Pawlenty ended his presidential bid more than $450,000 in debt. He dropped out of the presidential race after a third place finish in the Iowa straw poll in August, citing high spending and a lack of fundraising support.
• Sen. Amy Klobuchar has $4 million on hand for her reelection bid. She has yet to garner a major Republican opponent.
• Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation, meanwhile, collectively raised nearly $1.3 million for their reelection bids. Third district Republican Erik Paulsen lead the way with $340,000 in contributions.
• Challengers, in general, fared much worse, with the exception of Tarryl Clark, who is looking to unseat Republican Chip Cravaack in the 8th Disrict. She raised $228,000, more than the rest of the state’s challengers combined.
Here’s a look at how much each Minnesotan raised for their respective races, and what it means for their campaigns. The numbers below cover three months of fundraising between July and September — the third quarter of 2011. For more information, here are MinnPost’s recaps from the first and second quarters.
Michele Bachmann raised $4.1 million during the third quarter, a time period that included the campaign’s quick rise (in July and early August) and even quicker post-Iowa straw poll fade (thanks to the entry of Texas Gov. Rick Perry). Bachmann’s third quarter fundraising total is less than the $4.2 million she reported in the second quarter (that number includes a $2 million transfer from her congressional campaign coffers).
The Bachmann campaign spent nearly $6 million between July and September and finishes the period with $550,000 in debt and $1.5 million on hand.
Bachmann has spun the fundraising numbers as a positive, noting that much of her support came in the form of small donations from some 97,000 donors. But other candidates simply outraised her, including Perry ($17 million) and national front-runner Mitt Romney ($14 million). For the cycle, Bachmann has raised $8.4 million, putting her in third place among Republican hopefuls (Ron Paul checks in with $12.6 million).
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, meanwhile, ended his presidential bid after a third place finish in the Iowa straw poll, the ramp up to which left him more than $450,000 in debt. Pawlenty raised just less than $1 million between July and September, the vast majority of it coming before his decision to drop out of the race.
Pawlenty did not have the personal wealth to prop up a presidential bid like other long-shot candidates (Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman chiefly among them) do. As such, after his Iowa straw poll showing sapped his campaign of any momentum it might have had, there was really no hope of raising enough money from donors to keep the campaign afloat.
Pawlenty ended up raising $4.7 million for his presidential bid, not counting the nearly $750,000 in donations that were earmarked for any potential general election bid that the campaign needed to refund to donors.
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised just more than $1 million in the third quarter, well less than what she raised between April and June, but not a bad haul given the lack of a major Republican challenger in the race. The FEC website does not list fundraising reports from former state Rep. Dan Severson or the less well-known St. Bonifacius City Councilmember Joe Arwood.
Klobuchar has $4 million in the bank with 13 months to go to the election. For comparison’s sake, then-Sen. Norm Coleman raised $1.5 million during this same fundraising quarter and had $4.9 million on hand before his failed 2008 re-election bid. For his part, Al Franken raised $1.8 million and had $2.4 million on hand. The contest would go on to be the most expensive Senate race in the country.
Here’s a look at the reports for U.S. House races in Minnesota:
Democratic Rep. Tim Walz raised more than $202,000 last quarter. He has $503,000 on hand, the second-most among Minnesota Democrats.
In state Sen. Mike Parry, who announced this month that he plans on running against Walz, the third-term Congressman now has a serious Republican challenger in 2012. He’s also the National Republican Congressional Committee’s top Minnesota target next election, making every fundraising dollar important for Walz.
Republican John Kline raised $183,000 and has $686,000 on hand. No Democrats have yet registered to run against Kline in 2012.
Erik Paulsen raised more than $340,000 last quarter and he has nearly $904,000 on hand. Both figures are the highest among Minnesota’s House delegation, since the state’s typical top fundraiser, Bachmann, is not actively seeking re-election during her presidential bid.
Two Democrats, Sharon Sund and Brian Barnes, are actively challenging Paulsen. Sund raised more than $25,000 and has nearly $24,000 on hand; Barnes just recently announced his candidacy and had no fundraising numbers to report.
Democrat Betty McCollum raised $105,000 and has $107,000 on hand. McCollum represents St. Paul, one of the bluest districts in the state, and doesn’t need overwhelming fundraising numbers to stay safe in 2012.
The same can be said for Keith Ellison, the Democrat who represents Minneapolis. He raised $187,000 and has $157,000 on hand. A Republican challenger, Chris Fields, reported $11,000 in contributions and nearly $3,000 on hand.
With Bachmann’s political future hinging on the outcome of her presidential bid, there are no declared candidates from either party running in the 6th District.
Democrat Collin Peterson raised a puny $70,000 during the third quarter, but he has nearly $610,000 on hand, the most of any Minnesota Democrat. His Republican challenger, Lee Byberg, raised $57,000 and has more than $89,000 on hand.
Peterson defeated Byberg by nearly 18 points in 2010.
Incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack raised $206,000 last quarter.
That number sounds pretty good, but then you see that Tarryl Clark, one of four DFLers looking to challenge Cravaack, raised $228,000 during the same period. Jeff Anderson ($20,000) and Rick Nolan ($65,000) raised paltry amounts in comparison. Former Al Franken staffer Daniel Fanning entered the race after the fundraising quarter ended.
Cravaack does have a significant cash on hand edge over Clark ($382,000 to $235,000), but don’t forget that national Democratic groups plan on pouring significant amounts of money into this race to help the eventual DFL nominee. Cravaack is, bar none, the DCCC’s biggest target in Minnesota, and one of their top targets nationally. To survive the onslaught of negative advertising about to come his way, Cravaack is probably going to want better fundraising figures than what he’s seen so far.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.