Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter outraised Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the most recent fundraising period as they battle for the Democratic primary runoff, but started the second phase of the election with far less in the bank than the incumbent senator.
Halter raised more than $777,000 to Lincoln’s just over $552,000. But while she has $2 million in the bank, he had $494,549 according to the Federal Election Commission paperwork the campaign filed today covering April 29 through May 19. The primary election, which had Lincoln at 45 percent, Halter at 43 percent and a conservative Democrat earning 13 percent, was held May 18. That means these most recent figures don’t reveal much about whether Halter received a boost from forcing a runoff. Team Halter portrayed today’s figures as Lincoln being in “dire trouble,” touting a new poll showing him leading the senator by 3 points. They also noted that nearly half of her fundraising haul came from political action committees, while his money came from individuals with an average contribution of less than $40.
After today’s poll, the TPM Poll Average for the first time has Halter leading Lincoln 47.3%-44.7%. As I reported earlier this week, it’s gotten nastier between the two Democrats in the final two weeks.