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The Daily Tar Heel

Dole, Bowles Top Opponents In Fund Raising

A Federal Election Commission filing shows that Dole's fund-raising campaign has raised the most money, with $5.3 million, thus far.

Recent financial reports indicate that U.S. Senate candidates Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles continue to distance themselves from their competitors.

Monday was the deadline for Senate candidates to report their quarterly financial filing detailing how much money they have raised and their campaign expenditures to the Federal Election Commission.

According to the filings, Republican candidate Dole, former Red Cross president, leads the pack with $5.3 million. Democratic candidate Bowles, former White House chief of staff, came in second with $3.1 million. Dole and Bowles were the only two candidates to break $1 million.

Democratic candidate Dan Blue, a Democratic representative from Wake County, has raised $347,332. Democratic candidate Elaine Marshall, N.C. secretary of state, has raised $461,671.

More than two-thirds of Bowles' funds have come from North Carolina, while Dole collected 43 percent from within the state.

Janet Bradbury, Dole's press secretary, said raising funds is vital for campaigning. Bradbury said Dole, who collected $2.1 million from individuals, has a large support base.

Bradbury said Dole is not just working on raising funds but also is visiting each of the 100 counties in North Carolina. "Dole thinks each county has different needs and issues and is using a grassroots campaign," she said.

Susan Lagana, Bowles' press secretary, said the funds raised by the campaign show that Bowles is sending the right message. "This is evidence that Bowles is the right candidate," Lagana said.

She said Bowles also is traveling around the state to build additional support and discussing local issues like air pollution.

UNC political science Professor Thad Beyle said the reports indicate that it will be difficult for other candidates to win.

Beyle said there are only two ways to compete against candidates receiving large amounts of funding -- broad name recognition or a particular message. He added that it is difficult for candidates to push that message without sufficient funding.

Beyle said there are two classic strategies in campaigning -- money and a community-oriented approach.

He said money is winning more elections recently by funding television commercials and Internet Web sites for the candidates. "It is pretty tough the way the game is played now," Beyle said.

He added that it would be a surprise if Blue or Marshall upset Bowles.

But some of the trailing candidates still think that they have a chance.

In an interview Monday, Marshall said her campaign is about one-on-one contact.

Marshall said it is her duty to talk with people. "It is like ripples in a pond," she said. "Neighbors talk to neighbors."

Marshall said she does not think voters will pick candidates with Washington ties. "People are becoming increasingly more skeptical about slick and packaged campaigns," she said. "They don't trust big money and government."

Blue's campaign could not be reached for comment Monday.

 

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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