Angle raises ‘huge chunk of change’ in three months

WASHINGTON — Sharron Angle raised $14.3 million over the past three months in a bid to unseat Sen. Harry Reid, a stunning sum analysts said puts the Republican in rare air for a campaign haul.

"That is one huge chunk of change for one quarter," said Dave Levinthal, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. "Almost any candidate would do just about anything to get that type of money."

The sum, raised between July 1 and Sept. 30, is an indicator of the national marquee value of the matchup between the Tea Party-backed Angle and Reid, the Senate majority leader seeking to extend his 24 years as a Nevada lawmaker.

Angle’s campaign released selected details of the report, which is required to be filed by Friday with the Federal Election Commission. It has not said how much money Angle spent in the quarter to remain competitive with Reid, who is raising record sums and with whom she has been deadlocked in polls.

The Angle team has not yet disclosed how much is left in the bank for a final push to Nov. 2 to unseat the incumbent. Early voting starts Saturday.

An Angle spokesman said 194,000 individuals have donated, with 94 percent of them giving $100 or less and 96 percent contributing $200 or less. The report she will submit to the FEC will have more than 8,700 pages .

"Sharron Angle produced one of the most successful single quarters of fundraising in the nation’s history for a U.S. Senate campaign," said Jarrod Agen, Angle’s communications director.

"This is a testament to the hatred of Harry Reid, the nation’s disapproval of President Obama and the unprecedented grass-roots support for Sharron Angle," Agen said.

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown raised $14.2 million between New Year’s Day this year and Jan. 19 and won a special election for U.S. Senate. About half of the money came from small donors on the Internet.

Angle set out to duplicate Brown’s strategy to target Internet contributors by hiring the Indiana company that managed his online fundraising. Angle also has profited from pitches by direct mail. And like Reid, Angle has circled the nation to make appeals for campaign cash.

Despite Angle’s surge, Reid still leads in the money chase. He had raised $19.1 million through June 30 and was due to file his third-quarter finance report by the end of the week.

Counting her latest report, Angle had raised $17.9 million.

Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele scoffed at the Angle numbers. Angle’s totals were not as important as how much she already has spent to remain competitive, he said, and how much remains for the home stretch.

"The fact they won’t disclose their cash-on-hand number is extremely telling," Steele said.

He added that fundraising will go only so far in the race .

"Whatever money they have raised cannot buy a field operation," Steele said. "We have been identifying voters and preparing to turn them out before Sharron Angle got into this race."

Stephens Washington Bureau reporter Peter Urban contributed to this report. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@reviewjournal.com or 702-783-1760.

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