One of the candidates surviving the Minnesota primaries this week has experience in both television and radio. Al Franken (D-MN) is challenging incumbent Norm Coleman (R-MN) in one of the high-profile matchups for Senate in a year featuring quite a few of them. The battle for this seat is expected to command one of the highest pricetags in the nation, and the two candidates individually spent more already than many start-to-finish races will command. According to OpenSecrets.org, as of 8/20/08, Coleman has out-raised, out-spent and out-banked Franken. He’s brought in $16.761M to Franken’s $13.086M; Coleman has spent $11.324M to Franken’s $10.713M; and he has $5.610M on hand, compared to $2.373M. To inject some perspective, this blows away the dollar totals being spent in another hotly-contested race, the New Hampshire match-up between incumbent John Sununu (R-NH) and repeat challenger Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Sununu has raised $7.183M, spent only $2.067 and has $5.109M on hand, compared to Shaheen’s $4.903M raised, $2.735M spent and $2.210M on hand. In other words, Franken is in second place in Minnesota but has out-raised both NH candidates combined.
RBR/TVBR observation: The differences in warchests in both these races are easily close enough that the national senatorial committees can have a major impact, should the polls indicate a horserace down to the wire. These are among the many states that could receive a major windfall above and beyond what the local political organizations have committed should the polling remain tight.