Blunt ahead of Nixon in money race
Jefferson City, MO. – Republican Gov. Matt Blunt has amassed more than twice as much cash as Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon as they build toward a likely showdown in the 2008 gubernatorial election.
Blunt raised nearly $1.7 million during the past quarter, outpacing the $1 million raised by Nixon during the same three-month period that ended June 30, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.
Blunt ended the quarter with more than $5.8 million on hand, compared with more than $2.4 million for Nixon, when candidates' expenses and previous contributions are included.
Both candidates' totals are far ahead of the pace established in recent Missouri gubernatorial races.
One big reason for that is the repeal of the state's individual campaign contribution limits, which took effect Jan. 1. Also contributing is "the ever increasing, persistent, constant campaigning," which leads candidates to raise more money and to do so sooner, said David Webber, a political scientist at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Nixon, for example, created his gubernatorial campaign committee in November 2005, just 10 months after Blunt took office. Blunt, meanwhile, never took much of a break from fundraising. By the end of 2005, he already had $1.6 million on hand for a prospective 2008 re-election.
In the past 2.5 years, Blunt has raised a total of $7.9 million; Nixon reported raising nearly $3.6 million.
The large sums of money mean Missourians are likely to see many TV campaign ads some perhaps sooner than what voters have come to expect.
"People were sick and tired of ads before," Webber said. But "if you thought you had too much before, just wait until next year."
Blunt and Nixon each reported one $100,000 contribution Nixon's from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees; Blunt's from the Republican Governors Association, of which he is vice chairman.
As he did during the previous reporting period, Blunt took in far more large contributions than Nixon. Blunt had at least 22 contributors who gave $20,000 or more each; Nixon had at least six of those. But Nixon was far more detailed in reporting smaller contributions, noting even a 50 cent donation from one St. Louis woman.
Nixon said his fundraising totals include 7,716 contributions from every region of Missouri, and that nearly 95 percent of his donors were Missourians. Blunt said he has received 6,947 contributions since he began raising money for the 2008 election.
They used those figures to try to make similar points, while drawing opposite conclusions.
"Thousands of Missourians are uniting behind Jay Nixon to change the direction of our state," said Nixon campaign spokesman Oren Shur.
Countered Blunt campaign spokesman John Hancock: "Missouri voters continue to cast a vote of confidence in the leadership of Governor Blunt, as Missourians from literally every county in the state have contributed to help him continue leading our state in the right direction."
Missouri Campaign Finance Reports
| Office || Candidate || Party || Raised during quarter || Cash on hand |
| GOV. || Matt Blunt || Rep. || $1.7 million || $5.8 million |
| GOV. || Jay Nixon || Dem. || $1 million || $2.4 million |
| LT. GOV. || Peter Kinder || Rep. || $350,960 || $401,543 |
| LT. GOV. || Sam Page || Dem. || Report not filed || Report not filed |
| SEC. of STATE || Robin Carnahan || Dem. || $253,817 || $508,987 |
| TREASURER || Sarah Steelman || Rep. || $121,695 || $260,667 |
| TREASURER || Mark Powell || Dem. || $0 || $1,961 |
| ATTY. GEN. || Jeff Harris || Dem. || $170,485 || $299,133 |
| ATTY. GEN. || Chris Koster || Rep. || $157,350 || $644,171 |
| ATTY. GEN. || Michael Gibbons || Rep. || $106,495 || $158,041 |