Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crist holds almost 4-to1 lead in fund-raising (UPDATED)

Upstart Marco Rubio may have taken a microscopic lead in a major opinion survey, but it is the long-time career politician, Charlie Crist, who has a large advantage in another indicator of political strength that probably has much more significance seven months before the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

The candidates' respective campaigns today have offered a sneak preview of what their latest campaign finance reports will show when they are filed by the end of this month with the Federal Elections Committee.

Crist's campaign said it had raised more than $2 million during the final quarter of 2009, bringing his total cash on hand to more than $7.5 million - almost four times the $2 million Rubio said he had in the bank as of Dec. 31. Rubio, who some argue has captured all the positive momentum in the race, said he raised $1.75 million in the fourth quarter.

The Republican primary is Aug. 24.

Not surprisingly, each campaign put their spin on their respective disclosures.

Said Eric Eikenberg, campaign manager for Crist:
“We continue to get unwavering fundraising donations as our supporters help us spread Governor Crist’s positive message of less government, low taxes, and a market based approach to health care. As the next U. S. Senator from Florida, Charlie Crist will continue to fight for what is best for all Floridians and will work to fix the broken government in Washington.”
Said Rubio:
“Elections are neither fundraising nor popularity contests. Supporter by supporter and idea by idea, we are building a campaign that is proving ideas still matter most in our democracy, but I know we have to continue working even harder against the most prolific fundraiser in Florida history. We’re on pace in meeting our goals, and I am as confident as ever that we will have the resources to deliver our message and be successful. As we look to the long road ahead, I pledge to continue speaking with a clear voice on behalf of the ideals that are uniting voters across Florida behind our cause.”
UPDATED - The Palm Beach Post offers an interesting caveat about the cash-on-hand figures.

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