BOSTON The candidates in Massachusetts’ hotly-contested U.S. Senate race raised money at a torrid pace in the third quarter, with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren reporting more than $12 million in donations and incumbent Republican Scott Brown pulling in nearly $7.5 million.
Brown and Warren released their latest fundraising totals Monday, although a full breakdown of the July-to-September donations were not yet available.
Warren’s campaign has now raised $36.2 million through the end of September, while Brown’s campaign has topped $24 million. The race has been one of the most expensive in the nation, and qualified as the most expensive political campaign in Massachusetts history even before the latest figures.
Both campaigns appeared to have ample cash heading into the final three weeks before Election Day.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, raised $12.1 million in the latest quarter, and $7 million in September alone, making it her strongest quarter and strongest month, respectively, to date, the campaign said in a statement.
More than 80 percent of the donations were for $50 or less, and more than half were for $25 of less during the most recent quarter, the campaign said. Some 53,000 Massachusetts residents have donated to Warren so far, it said.
“Tens of thousands of people across Massachusetts have joined this campaign because they know that Elizabeth will fight for them in the U.S. Senate,” the campaign’s finance director, Michael Pratt, said in a statement.
While outraised by Warren, Brown’s campaign said its $7.45 million third quarter total was also its best to date and that nearly 60 percent of its donors from July to September were from Massachusetts.
The Republican reported having $10.2 million in his coffers entering the campaign’s crucial home stretch.
“As we head into the final weeks of the campaign, Scott Brown’s message of being an independent fighter for Massachusetts jobs is clearly resonating with voters,” said Brown finance director John Cook.
Warren’s campaign said it had $7.3 million on hand at the end of the quarter, but had already purchased TV advertising for the final weeks.
The challenger has raised more than Brown in each quarter of 2012. Brown has said the Democrat is the beneficiary of out-of-state special interests, while Warren has countered that Brown has benefitted from financial industry interests.
The large fundraising totals come as political action committees and other outside groups also are pouring millions the race.
The groups have already spent more than $2 million on mass mailings, door-to-door canvassing and automated phone calls – also known as “robocalls” – in an effort to appeal directly to voters.
An Associated Press review of Federal Election Commission reports found groups favoring Warren have spent more than $1.3 million. That’s almost twice as much as the nearly $800,000 spent by groups favoring Brown.
The two candidates have met in three debates so far with a fourth and final meeting scheduled for next week in Boston.
Polls continue to show a tight race between Brown, who won a January 2010 special election to succeed the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Warren, who helped to create federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington.