U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack raised almost half a million dollars for his reelection campaign between July and September, his campaign announced Thursday.
Cravaack, a freshman Republican, is being challenged by former Democratic congressman Rick Nolan in one of the most closely-watched, and most expensive, House races in the country. Recent polls show Cravaack and Nolan in a virtual dead heat in the traditionally Democratic eighth district.
Next week is the Federal Election Commission filing deadline, but the Cravaack campaign put out an early press release to announce that it raised $471,183 in the third quarter. The latest report is not yet available online. So far this season, Cravaack has raised $1.9 million and the campaign says it had $1.13 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.
That money doesn't count the more than $4 million that has flowed into the district from the outside interest groups with a stake in the outcome of the campaign. The Nolan campaign, which has not yet released its latest campaign numbers, has trailed Cravaack in direct fundraising so far this year, although it has benefitted from more support from outside interest groups.
"I’m pleased to announce our strongest fundraising quarter to date," Cravaack said in a statement. "While our common-sense, bipartisan commitment to job creation continues to resonate with Democrats, Republicans, and independents, I will continue fighting to create a more conducive environment for Minnesota’s economic growth. Right now, we have a burdensome tax code and overbearing regulation putting the brakes on mining jobs and small business. It’s time that Washington gets out of the way, so that our twenty-first century Minnesota economy can move forward."
A Survey USA/KSTP poll taken this week shows Nolan leading Cravaack by a margin of 46 percent to 45 percent, with a margin of error of 4.2 percent. An internal Nolan campaign poll showed Nolan leading Cravaack by a slightly wider margin of 48 to 44 percent. A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll showed the candidates tied 42 percent to 42 percent, with a margin of error of 4.9 percent.