Sunday, June 10, 2012

Maine's U.S. Senate money race: a pre-primary survey

For those curious about the race to replace U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, the field is about to narrow considerably. On Tuesday, a small subset of my fellow Mainers will vote in the party primaries, presumably reducing the number of candidates from twelve to four: a Democrat, a Republican, a dark horse independent candidate with no shot of winning, and presumed frontrunner Angus King, an independent who served two terms as governor in the 1990s.

In understanding how formidable a candidate is and who they represent, it can be enormously helpful to follow their money, not just their speeches. With that in mind, I prepared a second survey of the Senate aspirants’ political fundraising – who’s giving to them, how much have they spent, and the like – for the Maine Sunday Telegram. It’s based on campaign finance disclosures that were to be filed May 31 and cover the period from April 1 to May 23. (For the first quarter, see this.)

The new data suggests that, in terms of political finance, two tiers have formed in both party contests, with Republicans Rick Bennett and Bruce Poliquin and Democrats Matt Dunlap and Jon Hinck having moved out ahead. King, meanwhile, is steadily building what is, for Maine, a formidable war chest.

One other pre-primary item: earlier this week I reported on the money bomb racino developers Ocean Properties dropped on the state senate primary in the Biddeford-Saco area. I have a blog post over at the Press Herald's Open Season on an additional PAC intervention there, this time by the National Association of Realtors. (As of last I looked, the byline on the post was incorrect, but, yes, it's me again.)

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