U.S. Senator Scott Brown announced Friday that his campaign for reelection raised $3.4 million in the first three months of 2012, pushing his total cash reserve to about $15 million.
Brown’s first quarter total is a slight increase from the last quarter of 2011, when he raised $3.2 million. According to a press release from the campaign, 71 percent of Brown’s first quarter donors are from the Bay State, again a slight increase from the last reporting period.
“The people of Massachusetts appreciate the independent, pro-jobs perspective that Senator Brown brings to each issue and they have rewarded him with yet another strong quarter of fundraising,” said John Cook, Brown’s campaign finance director, in a statement.
Brown’s Democratic opponent, Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, has yet to disclose her own fundraising totals but announced in an email to supporters Wednesday that her campaign has raised $2.5 million from more than 30,000 donors in Massachusetts alone.
Political analysts expect that Warren’s first quarter total will likely exceed Brown’s. Warren’s fundraising has outpaced Brown’s in each of the last two quarters. As of the end of 2011, Warren had raised a total of $8.8 million.
Despite Warren’s stronger fundraising, 2011 returns revealed that Brown had twice as much cash on hand, since he has bolstered his bid for reelection with unspent funds raised during his 2010 race. Even if Warren posts strong numbers on par with the nearly $6 million she raised last quarter, experts said she will likely still trail the incumbent senator.
“She’s done surprisingly well for a first-time candidate. That said, no matter what, she’s going to have to close the gap,” said Democratic political consultant Mary Anne Marsh.
The race is considered one of the most important in the country this election season for its strategic and symbolic value. Warren hopes to retake a seat that was held by Democratic mainstay Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56 for 46 years before Brown won it for the Republicans in 2010.
In accordance with the national attention focused on the race, experts expect it to be one of the most expensive Senate campaigns this year as well.
Both Brown and Warren have drawn a great deal of money from out-of-state donors. Warren in particular has drawn Republican criticism for the lucrative backing she has received from Hollywood and other prominent California Democrats.
“In a sense, it’s a national campaign,” said Harvard Kennedy School lecturer M. Marty Linsky. “Because of what the campaign represents, both of them will be attracting huge amounts of out-of-state money, and that has its own consequences.”
A recent poll by The Boston Globe showed Brown and Warren in a statistical tie with the election a little more than a half a year away.
Warren’s complete fundraising numbers could be released as early as next week, but the Federal Election Commission does not require candidates to file until April 15.
—Staff writer Nicholas P. Fandos can be reached at email@example.com.