Susan Collins' campaign team has been quiet for the past few weeks since Shenna Bellows put out her eyebrow-raising 4th Quarter fundraising report. Now we know why: Bellows outpaced Collins for the period.
Collins reported raising $314,921 during the last quarter of 2013. After expenses, the Collins campaign had slightly more than $3 million in cash still available as she seeks a fourth six-year term in the U.S. Senate, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.The Collins camp waited till the last minute to file this report- conveniently on a Friday night. And they are highlighting her $3M war chest, of course. The one she's been building since 2006, with all those lunches with lobbyists at Capital Hill townhouses. The one designed to scare away challenges from either flank.
Democrat Shenna Bellows reported raising $332,241 between late October when she officially joined the race, and Dec. 31.
Shenna Bellows isn't easily intimidated.
While Collins has relied on PAC's and big-dollar donations from out of state for the bulk of her support, Bellows has taken a different approach.
Bellows’ financial support is strongly rooted in the State of Maine. 80.4% of the money raised by Bellows from individual contributors came from Maine citizens, highlighting Bellows’ widespread appeal across the state. Bellows is pursuing contributions from all 504 cities and towns in Maine. She has obtained contributions from 337 towns in all 16 counties. In eight counties, Bellows has received support from every town.As one Bellows for Senate Kossack maineprogressiveswarehouse put it in a Facebook post:
Here is how I look at the money thing and it is a message I have said to folks quite a few times, in regards to Shenna's campaign. Susan Collins started this whole re-election bid (number 4, when she said 2 was her limit, btw) with a whopping big $3M in the war chest and that equates to throwing a really big rock in a pond. It goes "WHOOSH!" and is really impressive for a minute... and then the water settles and the waves smooth out.The Collins campaign has a little quandary now. She can head down to K Street with a big suitcase, and she can go back to her usual Beltway heavy-hitters to make sure this doesn't happen again. But that's not going to make those breakdowns look better to Maine voters.
BUT- anyone who has ever done it knows that multiple handfuls of pebbles will keep moving, bouncing off of each other and just keep that water moving. It's non-stop motion. And THAT is what Shenna's grassroots efforts are, to me. The money is big and necessary, certainly- but each little pebble, each little ripple? Those are VOTERS and those are the people who keep talking, after having met her. Those are the folks who give the $5 for their town, who make the difference. AND that is how Shenna will win- by keeping in mind the people she will be meeting and promising to represent honestly and strongly, never backing down but being mindful of their faith in her. She has MINE.
Meanwhile, Bellows will keep doing what she's been doing…..traveling across the state at a steady pace, talking to voters at house parties and public events, and fundraising from the grassroots. Oh, and doing the occasional national interview about raising the minimum wage, restoring constitutional freedoms, protecting the environment, legalizing marijuana, and other issues.
Let's help Shenna keep the grassroots pressure on Susan Collins. Donate at ActBlue.