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Republicans Top Democrats Raising Cash for Open Senate Seats

Charles "Charlie" Crist, governor of Florida, waits for U.S. President Barack Obama to speak in the state dining room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 22, 2010. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Republicans competing for open U.S. Senate seats in Florida and six other states as a group raised millions of dollars more than the Democratic contenders in 2010’s second quarter.

Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate in Florida, brought in more than $4.5 million, his campaign said. His Democratic opponent, Representative Kendrick Meek, raised more than $1 million, according to his website. The independent candidate, Governor Charlie Crist, toted up $1.8 million.

Republicans in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania also out-raised rivals from April 1 through June 30. A backlash against Democrats, who control Congress and the White House, may be boosting fundraising for Republicans such as Rubio, a former state house speaker.

“The second-quarter results suggest a classic cycle of donors deciding this is a good year for Republicans, giving them money and reinforcing the existing advantage of national tides,” said Linda Fowler, a government professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Another sign of trouble for Democrats showed up in Nevada. Former Republican state legislator Sharron Angle toted up almost $2.6 million in her bid to unseat Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, including $2.2 million in the last 42 days of the quarter. Reid brought in more than $2.4 million during the period, his campaign said.

Boxer, Lincoln

Other Democratic incumbents fared better in the quarter. Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, California Senator Barbara Boxer and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet brought in more campaign cash than Republican challengers.

The money race in Washington state was closer. Democratic Senator Patty Murray reported raising $1.6 million over the three-month period, while former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi said he raised about $1.4 million in a month after deciding to challenge Murray.

All Senate candidates had to postmark their quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission by yesterday. Not all of them have released copies of their filings, and many have only shared total amounts.

In Pennsylvania, former Republican Representative Patrick Toomey said he raised $3.1 million in the quarter, compared with almost $2 million for Democratic Representative Joe Sestak. Sestak’s campaign said he raised about $1.6 million in June, buoyed by a May 18 primary win over Senator Arlen Specter.

Ohio Figures

Former Ohio Representative Rob Portman, a Republican, reported raising almost $2.7 million in the race to succeed retiring Republican Senator George Voinovich. The Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, raised more than $1 million, his campaign said.

Illinois Republican Representative Mark Kirk raised $2.3 million, compared with about $900,000 for state treasurer and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, their campaigns said. The two are vying for the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama and now occupied by retiring Democrat Roland Burris.

“There’s greater political energy on the Republican side right now, which spills over into donation patterns,” said Rogan Kersh, a public policy professor at New York University.

Missouri Republican Representative Roy Blunt brought in about $2.2 million, compared with more than $1.5 million for Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat, according to their campaigns. They are seeking a seat held by retiring Republican Kit Bond.

Indiana Race

In Indiana, former Republican Senator Dan Coats brought in more than $1.7 million in the quarter, including a $200,000 loan from himself. Democratic Representative Brad Ellsworth raised more than $600,000, his campaign said. They are competing to replace retiring Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.

Republican Kelly Ayotte, a former state attorney general, raised $720,007 in New Hampshire as she vies for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg, according to a copy of her FEC filing supplied by the campaign. Representative Paul Hodes, a Democrat, raised $605,191.

“The biggest factor for the elections will be the economy,” said Clyde Wilcox, a government professor at Georgetown University in Washington. “If it improves substantially by the time of the election, then Democrats will start raising more money.”

Fiorina Loans

Boxer, the Democratic incumbent in California, brought in $4.6 million in the quarter. That compared with more than $3 million for her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina, a Republican. Fiorina’s total included at least $1.1 million in loans she made to her campaign.

In Arkansas, Lincoln raised almost $2.7 million, compared with $622,912 for Republican Representative John Boozman, their campaigns said.

In Colorado, Bennet raised more than $1.2 million, his campaign said. His challenger in the state’s Aug. 10 primary, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, hadn’t reported as of late yesterday. In the Republican primary contest, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton raised more than $900,000 and Ken Buck, a county prosecutor, took in $420,592.

The money race in Kentucky was close. Republican Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, said he raised more than $1.1 million. Democrat Jack Conway, the state attorney general, said he brought in $1.4 million, including a $400,000 loan from himself to the campaign. They are vying to replace retiring Republican Jim Bunning.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kristin Jensen in Washington at; Patricia Laya in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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