Talent holds cash advantage over Carnahan as election nears
WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan raised more money, but Republican Jim Talent had a $1.65 million cash-on-hand advantage heading into the final month of the U.S. Senate campaign, according to reports released Tuesday.
Talent reported having $2.79 million cash on hand to Mrs. Carnahan's $1.14 million. The figures were due Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission and cover money-raising from July 18 through Sept. 30.
Mrs. Carnahan's spokesman said her campaign has already bought most of its television and radio advertising for the coming weeks and that Talent has not.
"We paid for most of our media before the deadline, whereas Talent simply chose to do it after the deadline," said the spokesman, Dan Leistikow. "So the cash-on-hand number is less important than the total raised. The fact of the matter is that we have the resources we need to communicate our message that Jean Carnahan is the right candidate for working families."
Talent's campaign manager, Lloyd Smith, said: "These figures show that Jim Talent has run a more efficient and focused campaign, and that gives him a sizable advantage in the remaining days."
Mrs. Carnahan has the overall fund-raising edge, pulling in more than $9.73 million over the course of her campaign to finish out the term her husband won posthumously two years ago. Talent, her challenger, has raised more than $6.64 million.
She raised more during the reporting period, too, pulling in $1.83 million to Talent's $1.64 million.
Most of their money came from individual contributors, who are allowed to give $2,000 per candidate in this election cycle.
But a large chunk came from political parties and special interest groups, which are allowed to contribute more money.
Interest groups gave Mrs. Carnahan $190,913 from July 18 to Sept. 30 and have given $1.34 million overall. Talent took in $447,875 from interest groups during the reporting period for an overall total of $1.26 million. These groups are limited to giving $10,000 to a candidate in this election cycle.
Political parties have given Talent $53,350 since July 18 and $160,850 overall, compared to nothing for Mrs. Carnahan since July 18 and $16,500 for the cycle.
Other party and campaign-related fund-raising committees transferred $127,120 to Mrs. Carnahan's campaign since July 18 and $518,732 overall. Transfers to Talent were $122,063 since July 18 and $455,032 for the cycle.
These groups also can spend money independently on advertising, mailing and other efforts that are not covered in the reports.
For example, the Democratic and Republican parties and labor unions have paid for months of television and radio commercials.
Their Web sites have also helped bring in the money -- Talent's site has raised $108,334 to date, and Mrs. Carnahan's has raised $71,046, the campaigns said Tuesday.