BOSTON -- The candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts have raised more money from supporters than in any other election in state history – or any other Senate race in the country this year – and Election Day is still more than three months away.

The amount collected by all candidates in the race pitting Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown against Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren through the end of June has topped $46.7 million, according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

That's not only more than the nearly $44.4 million spent during the entire 2010 special Senate election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, it's also the most that Democratic and Republican supporters have injected into any other Senate race nationally this cycle.

The bulk of the money in the Massachusetts contest – including millions in out-of-state donations – has come from supporters of Brown and Warren, the only candidates left in the race, signaling the importance both national parties have placed on the race.

There are other reasons for the huge fundraising totals.

Warren, a Harvard Law professor who pushed for the creation of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is a hero among liberal Democrats hoping to reclaim the so-called "Kennedy seat" in Massachusetts

Republicans hoping to hold onto that seat are as equally enchanted with Brown, a former state lawmaker who shocked the political establishment with his surprise win in the 2010 special election.

Both parties see the outcome of the contest as key to control of the Senate.

The amount being poured into Massachusetts is easily outpacing other top Senate races.

In Virginia, about $20.6 million has been collected by candidates in the race pitting Democrat Tim Kaine against Republican George Allen. In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP rivals have collected more than $19 million.

In Nevada, Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his challengers – one Republican and several Democrats – have pulled in close to $16.4 million, while in Montana, Democratic Sen. John Tester and the GOP candidates hoping to unseat him have raised nearly $14.8 million.

The totals collected in other closely watched Senate contests including Nebraska (nearly $9.7 million) and North Dakota (about $7.1 million) also fall far short of Massachusetts, according to FEC records.

The Massachusetts totals are even more impressive given that neither Brown nor Warren have loaned their campaigns any money.

The $46.7 million raised in the Massachusetts Senate race also tops the nearly $40.8 million collected by candidates running for Massachusetts governor in 2006 election cycle, when Democrat Deval Patrick was elected, as well as other high-profile U.S. Senate elections in the state.

By comparison, as of the end of June, Brown reported total donations of more than $19.9 million, while Warren has pulled in more than $24.5 million, in what could end up being the most expensive Senate race in the country, not counting money raised and spent by outside groups.

The totals include nearly $2.5 million Brown collected from political action committees and the more than $440,000 Warren accepted from PACs.

Both campaigns have criticized their opponents' fundraising.

The Brown campaign has tried to portray Warren, who has received donations from Barbra Streisand and Danny DeVito, as part of a Hollywood and liberal elite, and someone who doesn't represent most Massachusetts residents.

During the most recent quarter, Warren raised about 60 percent of her larger donations from outside Massachusetts, while Brown received about 40 percent of his larger donations from outside the state.

The Warren campaign in turn has highlighted contributions Brown has collected from Wall Street, saying he's beholden to big banks.

The contributions come in donations as small as $10 or $20 up to the maximum allowed under federal campaign finance law. Donors are allowed to give up to $2,500 for primary and another $2,500 during the general election.

Both campaigns say they'll have enough money to get their message out before Election Day.

One reason why both candidates are stockpiling such huge stockpiles of cash is an agreement they signed earlier this year designed to discourage outside groups from running attack ads on television, radio and the Internet.

Still, the mind-boggling sums raised by both candidates have left some voters scratching their heads.

"Is it necessary to raise that amount?" said Herb Lozano, a 23-year-old youth coordinator from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. "I don't know anyone who would give $2,500 to a Senate candidate."

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Introduces Financial Product Safety Commission

    Elizabeth Warren <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/10/financial-product-safety_n_173691.html" target="_hplink">announced</a> a bill creating a Financial Product Safety Commission with House and Senate Democrats in March 2009. The body was designed to have oversight over mortgages and other financial instruments to protect consumers against predatory practices. She said if the agency had existed before the subprime collapse then "there would have been millions of families who got tangled in predatory mortgages who never would have gotten them." HuffPost's Ryan Grim <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/10/financial-product-safety_n_173691.html" target="_hplink">reported</a>: <blockquote>Without all these toxic assets on banks' balance sheets, the institutions wouldn't be on the brink of collapse and the recession would be more manageable. "Consumer financial products were the front end of the destabilization of the American economic system." Sen. Charles Schumer's cosponsorship of the bill is notable because of his proximity to Wall Street. The bill's merit, the New York Democrat said, is that it regulates the actual financial product rather than the company producing it.</blockquote>

  • Geithner Opposes Her Heading CFPB

    Tim Geithner expressed opposition to her nomination for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/15/tim-geithner-opposes-nomi_n_647691.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour. Geithner thought Warren's views on the big banks and Wall St. were too tough. Warren's oversight of the Treasury department as a watchdog for TARP apparently irked Geithner, agressively <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz7ruJw6byQ" target="_hplink">questioning him</a> during Congressional hearings: <blockquote>While her grilling of Geithner in September, over what members of Congress have called the "backdoor bailout" of Wall Street through AIG, inspired the "squirm" video, just last month Warren pressed Geithner on the administration's lackluster foreclosure-prevention plan, Making Home Affordable. Criticizing him for Treasury's failure to keep families in their homes, she questioned Treasury's commitment to homeowners.</blockquote>

  • Ready For A Fight

    Elizabeth Warren <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/03/fight-for-the-cfpa-is-a-d_n_483707.html" target="_hplink">reiterated her desire</a> for a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency to HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour: <blockquote>"My first choice is a strong consumer agency," the Harvard Law professor and federal bailout watchdog said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor."</blockquote>

  • Named Interim Chief Of CFPB

    In September of 2010, HuffPost's Ryan Grim <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/13/elizabeth-warren-interim-cfpb-chief-consideration_n_715457.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> that Elizabeth Warren was being considered as a candidate for interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Days later the announcement was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/15/white-house-taps-warren_n_715291.html" target="_hplink">official</a>. The move allowed Warren to set up the groundwork for the agency immediately without risking a GOP filibuster of her nomination, a response that seemed certain giving the <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/09/15/opposition_mounts_for_interim_appointment/" target="_hplink">public opposition expressed</a> by some Republican senators. When it came time to put forth an appointment for a longterm CFPB chief, Warren was overlooked, partially because she was seen as unfeasible, but also, HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/republican-opposition-to-elizabeth-warren_n_902165.html" target="_hplink">reported</a>, because she was a divisive figure within the Obama administration: <blockquote>Ultimately, Warren wanted the job, allies said. And near-united opposition from Senate Republicans -- 44 of them signed a letter saying they'd oppose any nominee -- should have made it easier for Obama to nominate her, since the Republicans publicly said they wouldn't support anyone for the role. Instead, the Republicans made it easy for the White House to deflect questions about the administration's lack of support for Warren. Asked how she squared the administration's public statements with its private ones, Warren declined. "I really have to say, I'm just not there. I'm not in the intricacies of the political part of this, and I can't comment," Warren said Monday. "The truth is I don't know anything about it."</blockquote>

  • Chats With HuffPost About Bureau

    In October 2010, shortly after being tasked with building the groundwork for the CFPB, Warren stopped by HuffPost to chat with Ryan Grim and Shahien Nasiripour "This is the first real agency we've built in the 21st century -- well, there's Homeland Security, but one for the people. And it means we ought to think differently," said Warren. "The government can talk to people and people can talk to the government differently than when the Consumer Product Safety Commission was built, or when the FDA was built. And if we do this right, that should change the whole dynamic of who this agency really is." HuffPost's Ryan Grim <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/07/elizabeth-warren-consumer_1_n_754026.html" target="_hplink">reported</a>: <blockquote>By gathering information, contracts and documents from homeowners and consumers, and allowing watchdog groups and individual concerned citizens access to those documents, the agency can exponentially expand the manpower it has to review the operations of banks and lenders. The goal would be to become aware of a particularly fraudulent practice before it is rampant and insulates itself in the financial services industry.</blockquote> For full video of the interview, click <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/07/elizabeth-warren-consumer_1_n_754026.html" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • GOP Calls Her A Liar

    In May, Warren was called to testify before a House subcommittee and defend the merits of the CFPB. Some of the questions submitted by Republican representatives appeared confused and at times aggressive, leaving Warren to correct them on some basic facts about the actual purpose of the bureau. HuffPost's Mike McCauliff <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/24/elizabeth-warren-liar-gop-facts-cfpb_n_866505.html" target="_hplink">relays</a> one particularly contentious moment: <blockquote>The subcommittee chairman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), began the proceedings by suggesting Warren had lied to the committee in a previous hearing that had questioned the CFPB's role in offering advice to state attorneys general negotiating a settlement with abusive mortgage servicers. At the time, Warren said she was proud her agency had been able to help, at the request of the treasury secretary. But McHenry brought up the memo again, suggesting it showed that she hid a larger role in the negotiations from Congress. "This is our job, and we're trying to do our job, to be helpful to other agencies, and to help those agencies to hold those who break the law accountable," Warren said, repeating that she was proud of the work.</blockquote>

  • Announces Senate Run

    Elizabeth Warren <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/13/elizabeth-warren-senate-massachusetts_n_960510.html" target="_hplink">announced</a> on September 14, 2011 that she was running for the United States Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown (R-Mass.) "After listening to people all across our state who know that we can do better, folks who are frustrated like I am that Washington just doesn't get it, I'm running for the Senate so I can fight every day for Massachusetts families," Warren <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/senate-announcement_b_961624.html" target="_hplink">wrote on The Huffington Post</a>.

  • Fundraising

    One month into her campaign to secure the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren raised $3.15 million, largely <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/10/elizabeth-warren-raises-3_n_1003836.html" target="_hplink">from small donations</a>. According to a campaign email, 96 percent of donations were under $100. "These are pretty amazing numbers for our first official finance report, raised in a very short period of time," she said in an email to supporters. Warren's campaign has also attracted <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/elizabeth-warren-builds-s_n_1018334.html" target="_hplink">large liberal donors</a>, including colleagues from Harvard and well-known liberal donors like George Soros, Barbra Streisand, and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Warren <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/elizabeth-warren-scott-brown-fundraising_n_1199680.html " target="_hplink">raised</a> an impressive $5.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. In early January, the candidate's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/16/elizabeth-warren-money-bomb-fundraising_n_1208511.html?ref=mostpopular" target="_hplink">money bomb</a> pulled in more than $100,000 in just one weekend.

  • Historic Agreement

    Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/elizabeth-warren-scott-brown-attack-ads_n_1223574.html" target="_hplink">signed a pledge</a> to curb third-party attack ads. If either campaign breaks the agreement, they would donate half the cost of the outside ad to a charity of their opponent's choice. "This may not work," <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/david-catanese/2012/01/warren-this-may-not-work-112119.html" target="_hplink">Warren said in an email to supporters</a>. "But there's enough at stake to make it worthwhile to try to take back this election."