Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet may not have a widely endorsed Republican contender yet, but he’s already winning the money race.
His campaign has reported raising more than $1.5 million in the third quarter, bringing his total war chest up to $5.4 million for his 2016 race to defend his U.S. Senate seat.
Republicans have criticized Bennet for being a rich-boy candidate. Democrats point out that more than 85 percent of his donations were $100 or less.
As of June, the Republican candidates were lagging behind in fundraising — largely because the party did not have a significant contender. Some in the GOP say they now have one in Tim Neville. Others are still waiting for someone they see as a more viable candidate.
As of June, largely ignored Republican candidate Darryl Glenn had reported taking in $16,290 in contributions, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Charles Joseph Ehler, Gary Swing (who has declared his candidacy as part of the “Boiling Frog Party,” Michael Kinlaw and Tim Neville have reported raising nothing, so far — though Neville, considered the most viable of the current Republicans running, has not been required to report, as he just entered the race in late September.
The next round of filings will be released today.
Neville, who’s sure to have the backing of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the contentious Dudley Brown faction of the party, may have a hard time raising enough funds and enthusiasm from traditional Republicans to beat Bennet.
Assuming no establishment Republican candidates come forward, Bennet is well positioned to win in this purple state, despite his lackluster performance in the polls.
The next question if Neville is the incumbent’s main opponent: What’s Bennet going to do with all that money?
Photo credit: Bernard Pollack, Creative Commons, Flickr.