According to a press release sent out by his campaign today, U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer has raised $1.135 million in the first quarter of 2017 and had $1.86 million in cash on hand at the end of March.
You can read the full press release below. They also claim that “nearly 60 percent” of reported donors were North Dakotans.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp, by comparison, announced days ago that her campaign had raised $1.6 million in the first quarter and had $5.3 million in cash on hand.
Neither campaign has filed their disclosures with the FEC yet (they’re due next week).
Political campaigns typically like to put out releases about their fundraising numbers well before the actual figures are released. It’s a way to control the narrative around their numbers before anyone can dig into the specifics.
For what it’s worth, according to Heitkamp’s last disclosure, over 94 percent of her itemized individual contributions came from out of state in 2017.
Comparing the two first quarter reports, just based on what the campaigns are telling us, Heitkamp obviously raised more than Cramer. But then, Cramer wasn’t in the Senate race for the entire reporting period, and his campaign staff tells me he wasn’t active fundraising for weeks while his son was dying.
What he’s reporting was raised over six weeks. Meaning that, while Heitkamp certainly has a cash-on-hand advantage, Cramer is capable of matching her fundraising in a given quarter.
I’m not sure that financial resources are going to be a factor in this race anyway. Both candidates are going to raise and spend money to a point of diminishing returns. North Dakota is a very small media market, and the candidates are going to saturate it with advertising.
Victory in this race won’t hinge on money. Both candidates will have more than enough of that, I think.