This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2011 - U.S. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., spent her summer focused on two key objectives: losing weight and raising money.
McCaskill has been upfront about her pleasure over losing close to 50 pounds in about five months, which she has attributed to a strict diet and lots of exercise -- taking note on Twitter of her treadmill treks.
But the senator also spent the summer raising lots of money. She released documents today confirming that she raised more than $1.2 million during the past three months -- making her among the nation's most prolific money-raisers in the Senate for the third quarter, according to various press accounts.
In Missouri, she was bested only by Gov. Jay Nixon, a fellow Democrat.
The bulk of McCaskill's latest contributions -- over $1 million -- came from individuals, with the rest from political action committees.
Overall, the senator has raised $5.59 million and had $3.72 million in the bank as of Sept. 30, according to a copy of her Federal Election Commission filing provided to the Beacon.
The filing was due Saturday, but not readily available on the FEC's website because of Senate procedures. (McCaskill had tweeted some numbers last Friday, but the Beacon does not report a candidate's filings unless we have a copy, at minimum, of the FEC summary pages.)
McCaskill's bank account is about three times larger than that of her closest Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, who earlier reported $1.2 million in the bank.
Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, also a Republican, reported $561,949 on hand as of Sept. 30 -- but that includes a $400,000 personal loan from the Steelman family, made just days before.
The third Republican running for the Senate, John Brunner, doesn't have to file a report until Jan. 31 because he just announced his candidacy earlier this month.
McCaskill reports no new loans, beyond $160,000 that she reported during an earlier quarter. Her report most likely includes few, if any, of the donations she collected at Washington D.C. fundraising event on Oct. 4, while President Barack Obama was raising money in St. Louis.
McCaskill and other major Democrats are trying to raise as much money as possible, in part because they expect several well-funded conservative groups -- such as Crossroads USA and Crossroads GPS -- to run attack ads assisting the Republican challengers.
Crossroads, overseen in part by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, has made the Senate contests a major part of its 2012 strategy.
Here's the latest fiscal rundown for McCaskill, Akin and Steelman:
Raised: $5.588 million overall ($1.22 million latest quarter)
Spent: $1.87 million overall ($339,563 latest quarter)
On hand: $3.72 million
Raised: $1.066 million overall ($495,162.73 latest quarter, including $400,000 loan)
Spent: $378,191.15 overall ($115,305.10 during the last quarter)
On hand: $561,949.59
Raised: $1.27 million overall ($285,002.48 since July 1)
Spent: $644,000.66 overall ($221,332 since July 1)
On hand: $1.247 million