Challenger’s Challenge

So how do this year’s Democratic challengers stack up?

A couple of candidates are in good shape, at least on the fundraising front. Through May 21, Maine Rep. Tom Allen (D) raised $3.9 million, giving him 72 percent of Sen. Susan Collins’ (R) total raised. And in Minnesota, comedian Al Franken (D) actually outraised Sen. Norm Coleman (R), $9.4 million to $8.7 million through March 31.

The rest of the class is further behind.

Oregon Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) raised $1.9 million through April 30, about 38 percent of Sen. Gordon Smith’s (R) fundraising. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) raised $267,000 through March 31, putting him at 13 percent of Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R) total raised in Alaska.

In North Carolina, state Sen. Kay Hagan (D) raised 22 percent ($1.5 million) of Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s (R) take ($6.7 million) through April 16, though she announced on Wednesday that she collected $1.6 million from April 17 to June 30. In Mississippi, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) raised $449,000 through March 31, giving him 14 percent of appointed Sen. Roger Wicker’s (R) total at the end of March. In Kentucky, wealthy health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) raised $1.5 million through April 30, 17 percent of the total taken in by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).

Rothernberg Report