JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon has raised roughly twice as much as Republican rival Kenny Hulshof, giving Nixon significantly more money to spend in the final days of the campaign.
Reports filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission show that Nixon, currently the state's attorney general, has raised $16 million during his three-year campaign, including more than $2.5 million in the most recent period from Oct. 1 through Oct. 23.
Hulshof has raised almost $8.3 million since entering the governor's race in late January, part of which came and was spent during a hotly contested Republican primary. He reported raising nearly $1.2 million during the most recent period.
As of 12 days before the Nov. 4 election, Nixon reported having $1.7 million still on hand, compared to $597,683 for Hulshof.
The fundraising figures were released on the same day that a new poll showed Nixon widening his lead over Hulshof, Missouri's 9th District congressman.
The poll of 800 likely Missouri voters showed Nixon with 55 percent and Hulshof with 41 percent, a lead well outside the margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted Oct. 20-23 by Maryland-based Research 2000 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV.
Nixon's fundraising has nearly been matched by the casino-backed committee supporting Proposition A. That ballot measure would repeal Missouri's limits on gamblers' losses, raise casino taxes and cap casino licenses. The new revenue would go to public schools.
The Yes on A Coalition reported raising $15 million, including about $7.5 million each from Las Vegas-based Ameristar and Pinnacle Entertainment, which operate casinos in Missouri.
The next most expensive statewide race is for attorney general, where Democratic state Sen. Chris Koster has raised more than $4.4 million and Republican state Sen. Mike Gibbons has raised more than $3.5 million.
Gibbons raised $1.6 million in the most recent period, due largely to a $1.1 million contribution from the suburban Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee. He reported $337,043 on hand heading into the final days of the campaign.
Koster reported raising $771,882 during the most recent period, with $252,582 on hand.