Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins increased her money lead on Democratic opponent Shenna Bellows over the latest fundraising quarter, out-raising her by nearly $340,000 for the three months from April 1 to June 30.
Collins will report raising $900,000 in that period, with $4 million on hand out of nearly $5.5 million raised so far, her campaign said Monday. Bellows spokesman Adam Sarvana said the candidate raised approximately $563,000 over the same time span, with about $583,000 left and $1.3 million raised so far.
Updated figures aren't due to the Federal Election Commission until next week, so details of the filings haven't been released. Josh Tardy, Collins' campaign co-chair, said in a statement that the figures put the campaign "into an excellent position as we get closer to the campaign starting in earnest this fall."
The wide money gap isn't the only separation between the candidates going into this important stretch of the campaign. Collins had major leads in three polls released over the past nine months. The latest, conducted for the Portland Press Herald last month, showed Collins leading Bellows by a 72 percent to 17 percent margin, with 10 percent of respondents undecided.
Still, Bellows' team is expressing confidence, with campaign manager Katie Mae Simpson saying in a statement that they are "excited to see such sustained grassroots support heading into the next phase of this race," referring specifically to the number of small donors.
The Bellows campaign is banking on a momentum shift in their favor going into the summer's end, especially around a 350-mile walk from Houlton to Kittery that Bellows will begin on July 20.
"Our grassroots support has been significant from the beginning and is continuing to grow heading into Shenna’s walk across the state," Simpson said.