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Six Top Races: Show Me the Money

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Sen. Scott Brown, facing one of the most competitive Senate races of the cycle, raised $1.6 million in the third quarter and had $10.5 million on hand at the end of last month.

There are some races in which candidates are forced to scrape the bottom of their call lists — cajoling, begging, pleading for the money to keep their campaigns limping along.

And then there are these six Senate and House races in which money is unlikely to ever be an issue for the top candidates — unless the issue becomes how to spend all of it.

Because of the unique contours of each of these elections, many of which will draw a national audience, there is unlikely to be a shortage of resources for the campaigns. To be sure, these aren’t necessarily going to be the most expensive races of 2012, but they are contests where the quarterly reports will routinely be at the top of the heap.


2012 Senate Races

Massachusetts

The race between Sen. Scott Brown (R) and Harvard University professor Elizabeth Warren (D) will be one of the most competitive in 2012.  That alone would be enough to make it a big-money race, but the candidates, and the national fundraising bases that they can tap, put this Bay State race on course to be among the most expensive.

This is Brown’s first re-election, and he is trying to retain the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). Brown, an expert campaigner, still has a national profile from his come-from-behind special election victory two years ago.

Brown pulled in $1.6 million in the third quarter and had a whopping $10.5 million in the bank at the end of September.

Warren, a longtime favorite of the progressive community for her advocacy on behalf of the middle class, raised more than $3 million in the first weeks of her campaign. With substantial support from the Democratic establishment in Boston and Washington, D.C., she is likely to be the winner of the Democratic primary and see the money keep flowing in.

A late September YouTube video of her cogently explaining her belief in a robust government and a progressive tax code went viral, adding to her cachet among liberal-leaning voters in Massachusetts and around the country.

“She really articulates well some of the frustration that a lot of [progressives] have been feeling ... about income inequality,” said Joyce Linehan, an arts and culture publicist from Boston who gave Warren’s campaign $2,500.

Boston is an expensive media market, and outside groups are also expected to play heavily in this race, even though the candidates likely won’t need the extra financial help.

Virginia

Money won’t be a problem for either former Virginia governor running for the state’s open Senate seat, a smashmouth battle among the most competitive in the country.

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