New fundraising numbers show both Allen and Collins raised about a million dollars in the third quarter. Collins, however has $3.34 million cash on hand, almost twice Allen's $1.67 million. Neither campaign has to rely solely on their own fundraising, with the DSCC backing Allen and NFIB and other groups running ads for Collins.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be campaigning with Allen later this week. I'm sure the Allen camp considers that a fitting partnership as they attempt to duplicate Whitehouse's success in knocking off a popular northeastern Republican.
The debate today was the most interesting of the exchanges I've seen so far. I'll have some more on that soon.
The Press Herald/WMTW US Senate debate will be streamed live at www.wmtw.com starting at noon.
The Press Herald has an interesting article by Dieter Bradbury on political contributions from the financial sector with the headline "Foes Collins, Allen take in more than $1.5 million from financial sector". The piece implies that these contributions might affect their actions regarding the economic crisis. What you don't learn until the 27th paragraph of the piece is that Collins raked in 2/3rds of that amount.
In related news, if I had to pick one reason why Susan Collins is winning, I might go with her excellent constituency work.
To suggest questions for tomorrow's Portland Press Herald/WMTW debate, which will be streamed live online, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Collins won the endorsement of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday telegram this weekend. The editorial board based their decision on Collins' history of bipartisan accomplishment in the Senate.
Also in the paper on Sunday was an article on Allen's difficulty gaining traction in the second district. Talking to local volunteers, it's clear that Collins has a big edge over Allen in name recognition in northern and central Maine.
It'll be interesting to see how the next polls look. A result of 8 points difference or less would be a boon to Allen and show he's closing in. A result going the other way may signal that his advertising isn't working and that the race is out of his reach.
Collins was quick to send a copy of the endorsement to her email list on Sunday.
The debate was organized by the Bangor Regional Chamber of Commerce yesterday.
The candidates also met together with the Press Herald editorial board today, where President Bush was a hot topic.
Dan at Collins Watch had a scoop this morning with the news that Planned Parenthood, which supported Collins in her 2002 race against Chellie Pingree, has shifted their support this year to Congressman Tom Allen. He also notes that the decision was the result of a unanimous vote by the northern New England branch of the organization.
Jessica at PolitickerME followed up on the announcement and finds that the group made their decision after consideration of Collins' votes for Supreme Court justices who oppose Roe v. Wade.
Collins' pro-life credentials are often touted as a sign of her independence and this dis-endorsement could erode that image, but only if people know about it. What's unknown right now is if this announcement will be picked up by the wider media, if it will be made an issue by the Allen campaign, or if Planned Parenthood itself will be supporting Allen with advertising or logistical help.
The questioner is a bit unhinged (in a post from last week he explains: "If you don’t like me, then f*ck you, and if you’re a foreigner, and hate me, then I want my government to blow up your country. Then we can negotiate the price of me selling the body parts of your family on Ebay.") but the interview, conducted by email, is interesting, especially this bit from the senator on Social Security:
Some have proposed investing a portion of the Social Security trust fund in the stock market as a means of building up reserves and addressing or delaying the Social Security shortfall. These investments could be made directly by the government – like our State retirement funds – or they could be made by individuals through what have come to be known as "personal retirement accounts."
We should consider a variety of proposals to improve the system, including the pros and cons of personal retirement accounts, but I would not support an effort to privatize the Social Security system.
Anyone who's been following the issue knows that those "personal accounts" that Collins believes we should consider are the privatization that people are worried about. In fact, the Bush administration only started calling them "personal accounts" after "private accounts" and before that "partial privatization" didn't poll well. I'm surprised that she was willing discuss them in detail and insist they should be considered.
As an aside, the reactions on AMG to the post so far are hilarious. The first accuses her of treason, the second compares her to the Nazis.