Amid Record Fundraising Numbers for DNC, Alaska Democrat Raises $650K

Scott McAdams speaks at his campaign headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Dan Joling) (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

Democratic Senate candidate Scott McAdams speaks at his campaign headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska.
AP Photo/Dan Joling

Alaska Democrat Scott McAdams announced on Saturday that he has raised $650,000 for his Senate campaign against Republican nominee Joe Miller and write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski since winning the state's Democratic primary, according to Politico. 

McAdams, the previously little-known mayor of Sitka, is facing an uphill battle in a red-leaning state. He was considered a largely symbolic candidate in the weeks leading up to the nomination, and as of August 4 had raised only $16,000.

But thanks to Tea Party candidate Miller's surprise upset of Murkowski, the incumbent - and Murkowski's ensuing write-in candidacy - McAdams has seen more support from national Democrats. The Democrat recently received $42,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Politico notes.

McAdams currently trails both Miller and Murkowski in the polls, but the hope among Democrats is that Murkowski's write-in candidacy will split the Republican vote and provide an opening for McAdams. A CNN/Time poll taken in late September put Miller in the lead with 38 percent of prospective voters, followed by Murkowski with 36 percent and McAdams with 22 percent. 

The news of McAdams' late-onset fundraising success comes alongside reports of similar improvement within the Democratic Party as a whole: according to the New York Times, the Democratic National Committee raised a stunning $16 million in September - by far the Party's strongest money-raising showing in the 2010 cycle. (The Republican National Committee has not yet released its September figures.)

"We've found that our supporters are now focused on the election, are responding to the president's message laying out the choice and understand the stakes," Democratic Party spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Woodhouse also said that 80 percent of the money raised came from small donations made via the internet or mail - a possible indicator that the Obama administration's Democratic base may be becoming more enthusiastic. (Polls suggest Democrats face a serious enthusiasm gap against the GOP going into the midterm elections.)

Offsetting that, however, is the fact that interest groups -- largely conservative and often deriving money from secret donors -- are spending like never before.

The Washington Post reports that such groups have so far spent $80 million toward the 2010 congressional elections, as compared to $16 million that had been spent at this point in the cycle during the 2006 campaign.


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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