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Nevada Primary: A big money race, in fundraising and spending

New data from the Federal Election Commission gives form to what we all could have guessed, given the tenor of the U.S. Senate race in Nevada this year: It's one of the most expensive in the nation, second only to Connecticut's in money raised and third to Connecticut and Arizona in spending.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- who won't even know who his opponent is until Tuesday's GOP primary -- topped the list of candidates with $17.9 million raised and $10.9 million spent as of May 19. Republican Sue Lowden, the former state senator and Nevada GOP chairwoman, was a distant second with $3.2 million raised and $3 million spent (can you say "lopsided?").

All told, candidates for Reid's seat in Nevada have raised $25.6 million and spent $15.9 million, according to FEC numbers crunched by the always helpful Center for Responsive Politics.

And that's not counting independent expenditures. Nevada Senate made the list of top five races for independent expenditures as of May 16, with nearly $500,000 spent. But that figure is likely to grow, with the Reid-affiliated Patriot Majority PAC, the Club for Growth and the Tea Party Express's PAC, Our Country Deserves Better, all weighing in with TV and radio ads in the Republican Primary.

Much of the money is going to defeat Lowden, fueling perceptions that she remains the candidate to beat despite Sharron Angle's late surge in polls, and that Lowden is NOT the candidate that Reid wants to face in the fall.

-- Amy Gardner

By Amy Gardner  |  June 2, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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