Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle raised more than $14 million in three months in her bid to oust Majority Leader Harry Reid, but it wasn't clear Tuesday how much of the impressive haul ended up fattening her campaign's bottom line.
The cascade of cash Angle collected between July and September was not an encouraging sign for the Democratic leader, who is locked in a dead heat with the Republican challenger who says "I am the tea party."
According to government figures, Reid raised $13.8 million between January 2009 and June 30, an 18-month period. By the account of Angle's campaign, she surpassed that figure in three months.
But Angle's campaign did not immediately release a key figure: how much money she had left in the bank for the campaign's stretch run. Those figures will be released later this week, spokesman Jarrod Agen said.
Reid spokesman Kelly Steele called Angle's claim of a $14 million in donations "highly suspect" without documents to show how much her campaign spent on fundraising during that time, which can consume millions of dollars in fees.
Reid intends to raise $25 million for the race. His campaign has not yet released its fundraising totals for the third quarter.
The steady flow of money into the challenger's wallet is a signal that Republicans around the nation see Angle as a viable threat to Reid, the face of Democratic power in Washington. He is considered among the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress.
"I didn't think raising money against Harry Reid was going to be a problem. This race is as much of a national referendum on (President Barack) Obama than any race in the country," said University of Nevada, Reno, political scientist Eric Herzik.
"Neither side can complain they lost this race because of a lack of funds," Herzik added.
For most of the race, Reid has held a significant cash advantage over Angle. He had nearly $9 million on hand on June 30, the close of the second quarter, the most recent figures available. Angle had $1.8 million at that time.
Angle was once a little-known former legislator whose come-from-behind victory in the June primary made her a national tea party star.
Blood reported from Los Angeles