GOP Sen. Norm Coleman continues to wage a tough court battle to wrest a 225-vote lead from Democratic challenger Al Franken, but is rapidly losing ground when it comes to fundraising.
CQPolitics.com reports that federal election records show Franken has been raising funds at more than twice the rate of Coleman.
During the most recent reporting period, Franken raised $980,000 during the last five weeks of 2008, compared to just $460,000 for Coleman. Since then, Franken has received the additional boost of being named the recount leader by Minnesota’s State Canvassing Board.
A three-judge panel is reviewing legal issues raised during the recount, however, which could result in the counting of thousands of additional ballots. The issue of fundraising is important because election contests are notoriously expensive.
Franken’s fund-raising has been bolstered from several sources. Hollywood money has poured into his coffers throughout the campaign, and billionaire financier George Soros held fundraisers for him after the election as well.
One bright spot for Coleman, FEC records suggest, is that he hasn’t been burning through money as fast as Franken. As of Dec.31, Coleman’s campaign had $194,000 on hand, compared to just $2,500 for Franken.
The GOP continues to stand by Coleman. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has announced it will hold a $10,000 per contributor fund-raiser on Feb. 11, and Coleman is reportedly planning several fundraisers as well.
Coleman continues to press his case and has become a fixture in the St. Paul courtroom, where he frequently consults with his attorneys.
If Franken has any worries about fundraising or the election contest, he’s not letting on. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Franken has been enjoying sunnier climes while vacationing in Key West, Fla.
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