Reid, Angle even on campaign cash

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle head into the final weeks of their Senate contest essentially even when it comes to available campaign cash.

Finance reports filed Friday with the U.S. Senate showed both candidates with about $4 million cash on hand at the end of September.

So far, the candidates have raised nearly $40 million combined, making their showdown to represent Nevada in Washington potentially among the most expensive in the nation's history.

Their money, which is being supplemented by millions of dollars in spending from organizations outside the state, reflects the high stakes and national interest in the contest .

For whatever commercial airtime is left, Nevada could be carpeted by political advertisements as early voting begins today for the Nov. 2 election.

Only one congressional race has surpassed $40 million -- the 2006 New York Senate race -- according to the center for Responsive Politics. This year several including Florida, California and Nevada are likely to top that.

Reid, a Democrat seeking his fifth term, ended the third quarter with $4,007,951 in the bank. He raised $2.8 million during the three-month period and spent $7.7 million.

Angle, the Republican challenger, ended the quarter with $4,080,627 in the bank. She gained an eyebrow-raising $14.3 million from July through September and spent $12 million, her report shows.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has purchased $2.5 million in television ad time for the last two weeks of the campaign, according to reports this week.

The Center for Responsive Politics has identified more than $8.8 million that independent groups are spending to influence the outcome of the Nevada Senate race.

American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, organized by Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are spending more than $1.5 million to defeat Reid.

The Patriot Majority PAC, established by Democratic strategists Craig Varoga and George Rakis, has spent nearly $831,000 against Angle, according to the center.

Both campaigns issued statements Friday that touted their fundraising and offered pointed criticism of their opponents.

"Our campaign is confident we have the necessary resources to turn out our voters, as well as contrast Sen. Reid's record of delivering for Nevadans in tough economic times versus Sharron Angle's extreme and dangerous agenda to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, abolish the Department of Education, and dismantle the Veterans Administration by privatizing it," said Kelly Steele, a Reid spokesman.

Angle's campaign noted that it had raised an additional $3 million in October, including $1 million from Internet contributions. Angle raised more than $230,000 since Thursday, after the nationally televised Reid-Angle debate.

"We have beaten Harry Reid at his own game," said Jarrod Agen, Angle's communications director. "We vastly out-raised Reid's special-interest money with our grass-roots support and have all the momentum going into the home stretch. As the Majority Leader, Harry Reid should be absolutely embarrassed by his anemic showing this past quarter."

The campaign reports, which run in the thousands of pages, include details of expenses and contributions received from July 1 through Sept. 30.

In a breakdown provided by the campaigns, Angle received $7.8 million from individuals contributing less than $200 each. Another $6.4 million came from contributors who gave $200 or more.

Reid raised $246,934 from small individual contributors and $1.3 million from those giving $200 or more each.

So far, Reid's campaign has raised $22 million for his re-election. Angle has raised $17.9 million.

Angle and Reid also filed reports for two related committees.

Sharron Angle GOP Victory Committee reported raising $121,515 and spent $66,648 .

Reid Nevada Fund has raised $486,952 this year. It contributed $264,452 to the Nevada State Democratic Party and $67,323 to Friends of Harry Reid, his Senate campaign committee.

Both committees relied heavily on big money contributors.

Angle's GOP Victory Committee received eight contributions of $10,000 or more. Those contributions included $12,400 from Reno rancher James Buell and $10,000 each from Las Vegas Sands executives Patrick Dumont and Sivan Ochshorn .

Reid's Nevada Fund received 38 contributions of $10,000 or more. Those contributions included $12,400 from Las Vegas retiree Guy Gundlach, and $10,000 each from William Hornbuckle and Felix Rappaport, top executives of MGM Resorts International.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau reporter Peter Urban at or 202-783-1760.