Spending Ramps Up in Ayotte-Hassan Senate Race
The money race has been nip and tuck from the moment Governor Maggie Hassan declared for U.S. Senate in early October: $4.4 million raised by Hassan; $4.4 million raised by her opponent, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte.
This quarter, Hassan's campaign says it collected $2.25 million; Ayotte's campaign, "more than $2.25 million." Yet Ayotte, whose been raising money for 2016 since she was sworn in 5 years ago, has almost $7 million in cash on hand, more than twice Hassan's $2.9.
But Hassan's campaign says its trimmed Ayotte's money edge by almost a million dollars since late last year.
Both campaigns have - and will - be aided by non-candidate spending. So far, outside groups have spent more than $8 million to help Ayotte, and close to $2 million dollars to boost Hassan.
Spending in this race, which could be pivotal in deciding control of the U.S. Senate, is expected to top the more than $50 million dollars spent in the 2014 race between Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her 2014 GOP rival, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. Most spending in that contest came from outside groups.