Congressional fundraising numbers are in, and the winner of the last three months should come as no surprise: with a $4.5 million haul, Michele Bachmann easily outpaced the rest of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their challengers.
Bachmann is the usual favorite to lead in fundraising, and her seven-figure haul means she’s raised $11.8 million for her House re-election campaign, easily the most in Minnesota (the U.S. Senate race included). Her DFL opponent, Jim Graves, brought in $1 million himself, buoyed by a sizable personal loan to his campaign.
Elsewhere, Democrat Rick Nolan raised $484,600 in his marquee challenge to U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Cravaack raised slightly less ($469,000), but has a significant cash on hand advantage going into the final three weeks of the campaign.
Here’s a rundown of the third quarter fundraising numbers, by district. The numbers are as of Sept. 30 and based on Federal Election Commission reports.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D): Raised $800,100; On Hand: $4.8 million.
Kurt Bills (R): Report not posted online.
Klobuchar’s $800,000 quarter was her smallest of the cycle (she routinely raised more than $1 million a quarter in 2011, but hasn’t topped that since the this January-March), but her $4.8 million bankroll almost certainly dwarfs that of Bills. The Republican’s FEC report is not yet posted online, but he had less than $6,000 on hand at the end of July.
Rep. Tim Walz (D): Raised: $320,000; On Hand: $789,000.
Allen Quist (R): Raised: $204,400; On Hand: $168,600.
Quist’s number is 80 percent his money; he gave his campaign a $160,000 personal loan near the end of the fundraising period in September. Total, he brought in about $45,000 in outside donations, the second-lowest figure to only Anthony Hernandez, who is running a nearly impossible challenge to Rep. Betty McCollum in the 4th District.
Walz’s number isn’t great (among incumbents, only McCollum raised less), but it’s his best quarter since last spring. He’s raised more than $1.8 million this cycle and has a big cash-on-hand advantage left with 21 days to Election Day.
Rep. John Kline (R): Raised: $396,200; On Hand: $1.3 million.
Mike Obermueller (D): Raised: $331,000; On Hand: $370,200.
Both these candidates are on the air in the 2nd District and they have the means to do it. Obermueller, on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list of competitive challengers, logged the best third-quarter fundraising number of any Kline challenger since Teresa Daly raised $269,300 in 2004, Kline’s first re-election campaign.
Kline, meanwhile, has a $1 million cash edge on Obermueller, and he’s raised $2.1 million total, about $800,000 more than he’s raised to this point each of the last two cycles. Kline has a competitive challenger for once, and he’s taking the challenge seriously.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R): Raised: $655,300; On Hand: $1.7 million.
Brian Barnes (D): Raised: $160,000; On Hand: $106,500.
Paulsen’s $655,000 quarter is his best of the cycle, and his $2.8 million is the best among House Minnesotans not named Michele Bachmann. He has a significant fundraising edge over challenger Brian Barnes, who has $106,500 on hand. At 15-to-1, it’s one of the biggest cash-on-hand advantages in the state.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D): Raised: $184,200; On Hand: $180,300.
Anthony Hernandez (R): Raised: $27,500; On Hand: $11,100.
Speaking of bankroll ratios, McCollum has an enormous one here (16-to-1), and she’s done it without raising that much money (only about $825,000 this cycle). McCollum is in a safe seat.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D): Raised: $472,700; On Hand: $175,200.
Chris Fields (R): Raised: $121,600; On Hand: $76,400.
Like Kline, Ellison is facing the best-funded opponent of his career. Unlike Kline, he’s in what’s universally considered a safe district; he’s never won by fewer than 34 percent. Despite Fields’ hard charge, the district’s demographics are not in his favor, and Ellison is considered quite safe.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R): Raised: $4.5 million; On Hand: $3.5 million.
Jim Graves (D): Raised: $1 million; On Hand: $617,500.
Bachmann’s $4.5 million is her best post-presidential quarter, and easily the largest haul for any Minnesota lawmaker this cycle. She’s raised $11.8 million for her House re-election bid, which is actually ahead of her 2010 pace — she raised $9.6 million through September that year, en route to a record-setting $13.5 million.
Graves, meanwhile, is pouring his personal wealth into the race: He loaned his campaign $270,000 in September, for a total of $520,000 this cycle. He raised about $730,000 from donors, which is, far and away, the largest figure of any challenger in Minnesota, but not nearly enough to keep pace with the fundraising prowess of his opponent.
On the presidential front, Bachmann transferred $211,000 of her campaign’s money to help pay down the debt incurred by her presidential run. Her presidential campaign committee is still $607,200 in debt.
Rep. Collin Peterson (D): Raised: $253,000; On Hand: $657,400.
Lee Byberg (R): Raised: $121,900; On Hand: $74,300.
Peterson doubled up his opponent’s third quarter number and has a sizable advantage in the cash department. Byberg’s total is actually about $160,000 ahead of his 2010 pace, though in both cycles he’s loaned himself significant amounts of personal cash ($115,000 this cycle and $50,000 to this point in 2010). Total, Peterson has raised a little more than $1 million, leaving McCollum ($824,000) as the only Minnesota House incumbent under the $1 million figure this cycle.
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R): Raised: $471,700; On Hand: $1.1 million.
Rick Nolan (D): Raised: $484,600; On Hand: $464,300.
Both Cravaack and Nolan had their best quarters of the cycle, thanks, no doubt, to the emergence of a single Democratic candidate in this, the most competitive House race in Minnesota. Nolan had a slightly better quarter, the final six weeks of which he spent, for the first time, as the loan DFL candidate in the race. In August and September, he raised $457,000.
Outside groups and political action committees are making their presence known in the 8th. PACs have spent $4.3 million on advertising so far this fall, according to the Center on Responsive Politics, and both Cravaack ($135,000) and Nolan ($195,850) took in a sizable amount of PAC donations during the third quarter.
Most importantly, though, Cravaack had a $660,000 cash advantage at the end of September. Between the two campaigns and outside groups, the 8th District airwaves are set to be saturated with political ads through Nov. 6.
Devin Henry can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry