WASHINGTON -- Former consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren (D) raised $6.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 in her bid to unseat Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), her campaign declared Monday.
The nearly $7 million appears to be the largest quarterly haul of the election cycle for a nonpresidential candidate and shows off the national star appeal of Warren, the architect of President Barack Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Campaign manager Mindy Myers focused on Warren's Bay State strength, however, in an email to supports that announced the eye-popping figure.
"That's more than double the amount raised by our opponent," said Myers, acknowledging that Brown still has about $4 million more than Warren has in the bank.
"There's a lot of work ahead to do to close the gap. But this proves we're building something special," said Myers, adding that Warren "out-raised Scott Brown right here in Massachusetts."
Myers said that more than 30,000 people from 350 Massachusetts cities and towns contributed and that 83 percent of the donations since January have been for $50 or less. Those points were aimed at countering GOP charges that Warren, a former Harvard professor, is primarily an outsider backed by Washington forces.
In fact, moments after the Warren campaign announced its impressive haul, Brian Walsh, communications director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted, "Now if only the vast majority of donors to Professor Warren actually lived in MA and could vote in November. Perspective matters...."
Brown announced Friday that he had about $15 million in the bank. His campaign said it had raised $3.4 million and expected to be outspent.
Warren also outraised Brown in the fourth quarter of 2011, netting $5.7 million to Brown's $3.2 million.
Brown and Warren remain neck and neck in the polls.
Warren's campaign released a video appeal along with the announcement. Watch it below.