With hours left before the end of the first quarter, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) expects to show $5.3 million in his re-election account when fundraising reports are filed next month, according to a source inside the Burr campaign.
Burr, who began the year with about $4.3 million in the bank, will report raising just north of $1.4 million from January to March, the source said. That quarterly fundraising total will be Burr’s largest of the cycle and will be the fourth seven-figure quarterly haul in a row for the North Carolina Senator. Burr banked about $1 million during the quarter, after spending around $400,000 in the period.
Burr’s fundraising this cycle has been well ahead of all his Democratic rivals, including much-hyped Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recruit Cal Cunningham, who led fellow Democrats by raising $320,000 in about a month after joining the race in early December.
The Burr campaign source also said the Senator is planning to launch his first television and radio ads of the cycle next week. The ads, which will appear on talk radio and on television in the Raleigh-Durham media market, will be testimonials focused on Burr’s constituent service work. Burr faces nominal primary opposition, and the ads are focused squarely on the November electorate.
Whether it’s because of a lack of money or for strategic reasons, the air war has yet to begin on the Democratic side. Cunningham and his two top rivals, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Chapel Hill lawyer Kenneth Lewis, so far seem content to try to one-up each other in endorsements and squabble over poll numbers.
National Democrats have clearly pinned their hopes on Cunningham, but Marshall continues to have the name identification advantage, and Lewis is consolidating support among leaders in the state’s large black community. If no candidate breaks 40 percent in the May 4 primary, the two highest vote-getters will face off in a June 22 runoff, a scenario that would allow Burr to keep raking in the cash for nearly two months as Democrats continue to spend it.