As we have seen in recent elections, campaign funding is not always a determinative predictor of election outcomes but it is often a good predictor of future political activity. The second quarter fundraising reports are coming into the public domain, and the Pennsylvania disclosures tell us a great deal about who may be challenging Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D), and who may not. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazelton), who was talking about making a US Senate decision in July, now says he will do so before Labor Day. He had an active second quarter but only shows a little over $513,000 cash-on-hand. This is well below where a strong challenger must be opposite a two-term statewide incumbent.
On the other hand, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler/Erie) has more than $1 million in the bank, as does businessman Jeff Bartos. Businessman Paul Addis has just over $100,000, while state Reps. Rick Saccone and Jim Christiana are lagging way behind with only $31,000 and $22,000, respectively. Though half of Mr. Bartos’ money is self-contributed, it still appears he may be the potential candidate with the most momentum and commitment to the race. Rep. Kelly is viewed as being only a long shot to actually enter the Senate race.
All of the Republican numbers pale in comparison to Sen. Casey, however. The incumbent reports raising $9.3 million for the year to-date, with $5.6 million cash-on-hand.
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