WASHINGTON - Michelle Bachmann's re-election campaign raised more than $4.5 million in the three months ending Sept. 30, more evidence that the three-term Republican Congresswoman remains among the most prolific fundraisers in Congress.
No other congressional candidate in Minnesota has raised a comparable sum. In the hotly contested 8th District race, both incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and his DFL opponent Rick Nolan each raised less than $500,000 in the third quarter.
According to a press release from the Bachmann campaign, the average donation to Bachmann was $45, a sign that Bachmann's Internet-driven fundraising base of small donors continues to provide the majority of her campaign's cash.
Bachmann's fundraising this quarter is her biggest haul this election cycle but in 2010 Bachmann actually raised even more, about $5 million, at the same point in her campaign.
According to campaign manager Chase Kroll, Bachmann's campaign had $3.5 million in the bank on Sept. 30, an increase of $1.5 million since her last fundraising report on July 25.
While capable of raising enormous sums of money, Bachmann's fundraising apparatus is expensive to maintain. As MPR reported last month, Bachmann's campaign has spent on average about 16 cents of every dollar raised on bringing in more cash.
Her DFL opponent, hotel owner Jim Graves, has been aggressively raising money for the general election in the past weeks but has not yet disclosed his fundraising. As of July 25, Graves had $350,000 cash on hand.
The Graves campaign says it will release its fundraising figures on Monday but blasted Bachmann in a short statement attributed to campaign manager Adam Graves.
"These fundraising figures are further proof Rep. Bachmann's misguided priorities. She's spent her time fundraising out of state, catering to special interests and promoting her celebrity--all at the expense of Minnesota families. But no amount of money will cover up her six years of putting her own interests above those of the people she is supposed to serve," said Graves.