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McCaskill has outraised Hawley by almost 4-1, but Hawley entered October with more campaign cash

McCaskill has outraised Hawley by almost 4-1, but Hawley entered October with more campaign cash

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill

UPDATED with Hawley’s third-quarter fundraising, adds fundraising results from other local candidates.

WASHINGTON • Sen. Claire McCaskill has outraised Republican challenger Josh Hawley by almost 4 to 1 in their nationally watched U.S. Senate campaign, but Hawley entered October with a money-in-the-bank edge.

Reports to the Federal Election Committee from the two campaigns show that as of Oct. 1, McCaskill, D-Mo., had raised roughly $27.3 million to Hawley’s $7.4 million.

But Hawley began October with more than $3.5 million in the bank to McCaskill’s slightly less than $3.2 million.

McCaskill, a Democrat, raised roughly $8.5 million from July through September alone, and she spent about $11.2 million from July 19 through Sept. 30, according to her reports to the FEC.

Hawley raised roughly $2.8 million from July 1 through September, but he spent just under $2 million in that stretch from July 18 to Sept. 30, meaning McCaskill outspent him by more than 5 to 1 over that period.

But despite that disparity, recent polls have shown that McCaskill remains locked in a very close race with Hawley as the cash-on-hand amounts tipped to the Republican entering the campaign’s final full month, according to FEC reports.

McCaskill’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the cash-on-hand figures But Hawley’s press secretary, Kelli Ford, compared McCaskill to the Democrats’ 2016 presidential candidate, who outspent President Donald Trump by almost 2 to 1.

“Money doesn’t buy you love,” Ford said. “Just ask Hillary Clinton.”

The candidates’ own fundraising has been outpaced by spending on both the Democratic and Republican side by outside groups. The Center for Responsive Politics’ estimate on that amount of spending by outside groups in Missouri has ballooned from $41 million last Thursday to $47 million as of Monday.

McCaskill’s take far outpaces the $16.2 million spent by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and the $12.6 million spent by Blunt’s challenger, former Secretary of State Jason Kander, in Missouri’s 2016 campaign.

Independent Craig O’Dear’s Oct. 1 report showed he had raised $607,000, with more than a third of it either donations or loans from the candidate himself. He had about $66,000 in his campaign coffers as of Oct. 1. Libertarian and Green Party candidates, Japeth Campbell and Jo Crain, respectively, had not filed third-quarter reports as of Monday.

Federal campaign finance reports from other St. Louis area congressional candidates have also started to come into the FEC:

• In Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, heavily favored incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, reported having about $114,000 in his campaign coffers as of Oct. 1. So far Clay has spent more than $658,000 on his re-election.

Clay easily defeated community activist and pastor Cori Bush in a primary in August. No other third-quarter financial reports had been filed by other candidates in this race as of Monday.

• Another heavily favored incumbent, Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer of St. Elizabeth, reported having $2.9 million in his campaign accounts as of Oct. 1. He’s spent roughly $836,000 as of Oct. 1, including about $70,000 in donations to other Republican House candidates’ campaigns around the country, and a $30,000 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Luetkemeyer’s Nov. 6 opponents, Democrat Katy Geppert and Libertarian Donald Stolle, had not yet reported third-quarter results to the FEC website as of Monday. On July 18, Geppert reported having less than $5,000 in her campaign accounts.

Hawley vs. McCaskill: Coverage of the 2018 Senate race

Post-Dispatch coverage of the 2018 race for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat.

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Chuck Raasch is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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