LePage campaign spending surges in first half of September

Candidates for the Blaine House have taken in about $6.7 million and spent about $4.2 million of that, as of one week ago.

As Election Day nears, the dynamics of that spending are changing. Each campaign filed its latest fundraising and expenditure reports by a midnight deadline Tuesday.

I’ve pulled together some different views of those reports in two visual stories below — one focused on fundraising and the other on expenditures.

First, for the fundraising, Michaud is leading the pack for cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period. The Democrat’s campaign had just more than $1 million on hand, incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s campaign had just less than $1 million and independent Eliot Cutler’s campaign had about $378,000, as of Sept. 16.

During the latest period, Cutler surpassed the $1 million mark for contributions to his campaign coffers. He leads the group in spending so far, as you can see below.

It’s clear that since the Aug. 22 court ruling allowing Cutler to raise up to $3,000 from each donor, that his campaign has received more money from donors giving at least that much. That view, still being refined, reflects money taken in from any individual donor who has given more than $3,000 collectively to any gubernatorial campaigns.

Most often, donors only support one candidate but there are a few who have donated across and over party lines, possibly inflating the figures reflected there.

On the expenditure side, one interesting aspect of the latest report is a relative rise in spending from incumbent Gov. Paul LePage’s campaign, surging ahead of his opponents in spending through the first half of September (the latest reports cover through Sept. 16).

It’s also clear that television ads are quickly gaining their share of ad spending. Since the last reporting period in mid-July, the TV ads and production made up 43 percent of the Cutler campaign’s costs 64 percent of the Michaud campaign costs and 47 percent of costs for the LePage campaign.

If you have any requests about other ways you’d like to see data from the latest campaign finance reports sliced, let me know in the comments.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.