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« Republicans Outraise Democrats For Governor's Races | Blog Home Page | Strong Quarter For Open Seat Republicans, Dem Incumbents »

Boxer Rakes It In For Tough Re-election

By Kyle Trygstad

On the same day that the Cook Political Report moved the California Senate race into its Toss Up column, Sen. Barbara Boxer announced raising $4.6 million in the second quarter, possibly the largest take by any Senate candidate in the country.

The three-month haul from April through June leaves the three-term Democrat with $11.3 million in the bank. That's about $10.7 million more than Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, who earlier announced $620,000 in cash on hand.

"There's no denying that we're starting, and will probably continue to be, at a significant cash disadvantage to Boxer," Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in a memo to reporters. However, Saul adds, Fiorina raised $1.4 million over the last six weeks following an expensive and competitive primary, during which Fiorina loaned her campaign more than $5 million.

Boxer had no such impediment to her cash haul and also received a couple fundraising visits from President Obama. Still, the Cook crew believe money will not be an issue over the last three-plus months of the campaign:

"Given Fiorina's strengths as a candidate and her ability to put some personal money into the race, combined with the national political environment and California's beleaguered economy that has voters clamoring for change, this contest is shaping up to be one of the most competitive of the cycle. While Fiorina still has a lot to prove, the race moves to the Toss Up column."

That's a big move in the Democratic-leaning state, which Barack Obama won in 2008 by a 61 percent to 37 percent margin. Spending twice as much as her challenger in 2004, Boxer won her last election by 20 points.

The Boxer campaign has long been preparing for a competitive fight, and her fundraising numbers bear that out. Boxer leads by 3 points in the RealClearPolitics average, and, like Cook, RCP rates the race as a Toss Up.