U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono has raised more than four times as much cash as her nearest opponent ahead of Saturday’s primary election, and is surpassed only by the presumptive Republican nominee, former Gov. Linda Lingle.
The Democratic congresswoman, who is running to replace Sen. Daniel Akaka as Hawaii’s next representative in the Senate, had raised about $3.2 million as of July 22, according to the Federal Elections Commission, and spent about $2 million.
In comparison, Democrat Ed Case, a former congressman and Hirono’s main competitor in the race, has raised $747,214 and spent $614,795.
Hirono has received $1.8 million in donations from individuals giving more than $200. Federal law requires Congressional candidates to disclose the identities of those who give at least that much.
Of that amount, 52 percent have come from Hawaii residents; the rest is from the mainland.
Hirono is also getting ample support from unions, which have given $278,000, and liberal groups, possibly seeing her as the likely nominee to keep the seat in Democratic hands.
Emily’s List, a group that supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates, has given $134,464, and the anti-nuclear weapons group, Council for a Livable World, has given $22,806.
Campaign spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka attributed the out-of-state donations to a lot of interest nationally in the race which could help tip the balance between the parties in the Senate.
“It has a lot of ramifications,” she said.
“Right now, the Republicans need four more votes to take control of the Senate.”
Democratic donors have also channelled $575,212 to Hirono through the ActBlue PAC.
Case has received $614,278 in donations exceeding $200 from individuals.
Of that, 73 percent came from Hawaii residents.
Both have received help from outside groups campaigning on their behalf, which is included in their overall contributions.
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has spent $139,896 helping Case, while Working Families for Hawaii has spent $72,117 supporting Hirono.
The cash advantage appears, not surprisingly, to be playing in Hirono’s favor.
A poll taken on July 30 and Aug. 1 saw her leading Case 50 percent to 33 percent, according to POLITICO.
Case’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
If Hirono is nominated, Tanaka said the campaign won’t have time to lose with raising donations.
So far, Lingle has received $4.4 million in contributions and has spent about $2.3 million.
She has received $3.5 million in donations exceeding $200 from individuals. Of that, $1.2 million, or 34 percent, has come from Hawaii.
Lingle has received $613,190 from political action committees, mainly connected to businesses.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also spent $250,000 on television ads supporting Lingle.
In the race for Hirono’s Congressional seat, the two Democratic front runners, Tulsi Gabbard and Mufi Hannemann are on fairly even ground.
Hannemann has raised $1.07 million and spent $841,290.
About 72 percent of his donations above $200 from individuals have come from Hawaii.
Gabbard has raised $988,287 and spent $626,237.
Sixty-seven percent of her cash given by individuals in amounts exceeding $200 have come from Hawaii.
In addition, the Sierra Club has spent $146,646 and Vote Vets has spent $312,423 supporting Gabbard.
The University of Hawaii Professionals has spent $14,162 supporting Hannemann.