Fundraising figures for the U.S. House race can be found here.
Democrat-backed independent candidate Al Gross outraised incumbent Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan for the third quarter in a row, though Sullivan still holds a sizeable cash advantage with 109 days to the general election.
Gross raised $1.63 million between April 1 and June 30, according to fundraising reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, while Sullivan raised $1.22 million during that same period. Gross has received a fresh round of attention from national groups as polling has put the relatively unknown candidate in a favorable position heading into election day.
The $1.63 million haul by Gross marks the highest single-quarter fundraising for a Democrat-backed candidate in Alaska races, outpacing any quarter reported by former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich during the 2014 election. Sullivan raised $2 million during the third quarter of the 2014 election, laying claim the highest-ever single quarter.
Gross’ campaign was quick to boast the numbers.
“We’re building a movement in Alaska to bring an independent voice to Washington, and I’m proud of the support our movement has drawn from all over Alaska,” Gross said in a prepared statement. “Alaskans are fed up with the mindless partisan politics of the past. They can see through the thinly veiled influence of special interests in our election system. More than half of all contributions we received this quarter were under $100—illustrating the grassroots support and popular momentum propelling this campaign.”
Sullivan still holds a massive cash advantage with $6.9 million raised during the cycle thanks to a three-quarter head start on Gross and has $5.3 million in the bank. Gross has raised a total of $4.58 million and has $3.2 million in the bank.
Recently released polling conducted by Public Policy Polling put Gross five points behind Sullivan, with the race standing at 39-34 (though, as we must always point out, polling in Alaska is difficult). Public Policy Polling noted that there’s reason for Gross to have optimism in the numbers: Sullivan has a slightly negative approval rating (net -2) and while Gross is unknown with 72% of voters, he holds a commanding lead for those who do know him.
“Among the voters who are familiar enough with him to have an opinion he actually leads Sullivan 56-36, suggesting that if he has the funds necessary to become well known in the state he will have a good chance at making it a top tier race,” wrote Public Policy Polling in its assessment of the race.
Gross has personally contributed a sizable chunk of money to his campaign during the entire election cycle ($721,420) but a vast majority has come from individual contributions ($3.75 million). He has taken relatively little from PACs at $119,560 for the duration of the campaign.
Sullivan, who kicked off his campaign last weekend (garnering national headlines for all the wrong reasons), hasn’t given any money to his campaign but has received far more support from PACs than Gross.
PAC contributions account for $1.9 million of Sullivan’s overall fundraising (with many coming from corporate PACs like Walmart, VISA, UPS, FedEx and ExxonMobil), with $216,700 coming during the most recent reporting period. Sullivan’s received a running total of $5 million from individuals.