Udall raises $4.5 million in Q3, bested by Gardner’s $4.75 million haul

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Democratic Sen. Mark Udall's campaign raised $4.53 million in the third quarter, loading up for a final sprint toward Election Day in a race that could swing the balance of power in Washington.

DENVER — Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign raised $4 million and an additional $535,000 for to boost its field program — touted as the largest in Colorado history — in the year’s third quarter, FOX31 Denver is first to report Thursday morning.

A campaign memo detailing Udall’s plan of attack just days before ballots are mailed out comes just a few days after Gardner’s campaign announced that it raised $4.35 million in the third quarter and upped its own October ad buy by $750,000.

Gardner’s campaign raised $400,000 in the quarter into its account for GOTV efforts, giving it a third quarter total of $4.75 million, besting Udall in fundraising for the first time this year.

“No matter what magical calculation Team Udall wants to use, Cory Gardner out raised Senator Udall in the third quarter,” said Chris Hansen, Gardner’s campaign manager. “The fundraising momentum matches what we are seeing on the ground. Coloradans want a new generation of leadership in the United States Senate.”

Following  the latest haul, Udall’s campaign has increased it’s television ad buy by $1 million.

“Thanks to record-breaking fundraising, we’ve built the largest field and GOTV program Colorado’s ever seen in a midterm election,” writes Udall’s campaign manager Adam Dunstone. “Our state-of-the-art voter targeting technology along with our record number of volunteers will enable our campaign to identify and motivate voters who support Mark, but who wouldn’t have voted without our face-to-face contact.

“We’re already at triple the size of Colorado’s groundbreaking 2010 effort. The Republicans have nowhere near the size or sophistication of our operation.”

Udall’s field team has some 25 offices around the state, more than 100 paid field organizers and over 3,000 unpaid volunteer canvassers; those numbers are an improvement on Sen. Michael Bennet’s successful 2010 campaign, which had 15 offices, around 40 paid organizers and roughly 1,000 volunteers, according to Dunstone’s memo.

Republicans, having been taken to the woodshed repeatedly in recent cycles by Democratic field efforts, have gotten more serious about building a permanent field operation in the state.

A recent Wall Street Journal article on that very subject reported that the Colorado GOP has opened 14 offices around the state.

Although the return on investment is far, far worse with television ads than it has proven to be with GOTV efforts, both campaigns are spending even more blanketing Colorado’s airwaves in the campaign’s final weeks.

With the $1 million increase in its TV buy, the Udall campaign is now spending more on political ads than any other campaign or outside group, passing Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which had been setting the pace and will continue to run ads attacking Udall through Election Day.

“Now is the most important time for us to be winning the air war. And thanks to that bump in fundraising, we’re now spending more on Spanish-language media than any campaign in Colorado history,” Dunstone writes.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Gardner with a 1.3 percent advantage over Udall, well within any statistical margin of error.

“The momentum on the ground is building as Coloradans realize the road to the majority runs directly through our state,” Gardner said earlier this week.

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