BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen has an enormous cash advantage over his GOP foes, but he’s raising significantly less than he did six years ago when he narrowly lost his U.S. Senate seat to Jim Webb.
As of May 23, Allen, a former governor, had raised $6.6 million since entering the race last January. As of the same reporting period in 2006, Allen had raised $11.6 million. Even more pronounced is the difference in cash on hand. At this time in 2006, Allen had more than $7.5 million in the bank compared to about $2.75 million now.
In the most recent fundraising period, which ended May 23, Allen raised $750,000 compared to $1 million for the same period in 2006.
But things were different then.
For one thing, Allen was an incumbent with presidential aspirations and no primary competition who had accumulated money gradually since taking office. And 2006, of course, was well before the economy began tanking.
But if Allen does win next Tuesday’s GOP primary, he’ll enter the general at a significant financial disadvantage to Democratic nominee and former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who has consistently out-raised Allen.
Kaine has raised nearly $2 million more than Allen in total, and is nearly ties in cash on hand despite having already spent $2.5 million to reserve television advertising for the fall.
But while Kaine leads in funds, Allen has received more outside support thus far from groups likes Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Super PACs have formed to support both Allen and Kaine in the general election.