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McCain fundraising tops $15 million

U.S. Sen. John McCain has spared no expense in his primary battle against J.D. Hayworth, spending more than $15 million in his bid to hold off the former congressman’s challenge from the right.

According to a quarterly report filed with the Federal Elections Committee, McCain has spent about 10 times more than Hayworth and far more than all other candidates combined. He reported spending about $15.6 million, compared to about $1.5 million for Hayworth.

The bulk of McCain’s spending came in the last quarter, with the campaign dishing out $10.1 million frrom the start of April to the end of June. He has raised a total of about $17.8 million for the campaign cycle, according to his FEC report.

The spending appears to have paid off. Polling from the past month, in which McCain has run a barrage of television ads, has shown McCain with leads ranging from 11 percent in a June 16 Rasmussen Reports poll to 45 percent in a July 11 Rocky Mountain Poll.

“I think it’s more indicative of the fear that the campaign had when they transferred that money and when they went on this barrage of negative campaign (ads) and the political tilt to the right that they have taken, even if it meant sending the senator out and having him lie about his positions,” Sanders said. “I about fell out of my chair the other night at the debate when he said, ‘By the way, I never was for amnesty.'”

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the high spending total was indicative only of the fact that McCain has been advertising heavily on television. He said Hayworth’s relatively low number, and the fact that his fundraising tapered off after the first quarter of the year, shows a lack of public support for the former congressman.

“The … thing about Hayworth’s fundraising is I think it’s an indication of a flailing and failing campaign that they raised just a shade more over the last three months than they did in the first six weeks of these campaigns,” Rogers said. “And it looks from his cash on hand that he has just not been able to get the support that he’ll need to run the robust ad campaign that he’s going to need in this last month or so.”

About half of the money in McCain’s massive war chest was transferred from his 2008 presidential campaign. According to McCain’s FEC report, $9.7 million was transferred to his Senate campaign from other accounts, most of which was transferred from his presidential bid.

Under federal campaign finance laws, candidates can use money raised for other federal campaigns. Sanders, however, described McCain’s use of money from his 2008 presidential bid as “unethical.”

“It’s still dishonorable to take money for one race and then use it for something completely different,” he said.

Rogers called Sanders’ criticism “absurd.”

“They throw words like … dishonorable,” Rogers said. “The only thing dishonorable in this campaign is Congressman Hayworth filming a late-night infomercial for a free government money scam.”

Hayworth, whose polling numbers have declined significantly over the past few months, raised about $2.4 million in the race.

McCain’s campaign finance report shows about $1.7 million in cash on hand, while Hayworth reported about $922,000. Jim Deakin, the third Republican in the race, has raised about $34,000.

Former Tucson Vice Mayor Rodney Glassman led the four-way Democratic primary with a little over $1 million raised. Glassman reported spending about $335,000.

Cathy Eden, the former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, reported raising about $123,000, while community activist Randy Parraz raised about $54,000. Former Phoenix New Times reporter John Dougherty raised about $46,000.


  1. Patrick Michael Connors

    It is a shame that leading a race somehow comes down to the amount of money one spends. McCain does not deserve to sit in the senate for another 6 years. America and Arizona can ill afford to have someone who in name only respects republican principles. McCain is big government, big lobby connections and big spending (except where it counts, American security). He gave us Obama, because he didn’t have the stomach to challenge him or expose him for the socialist he is. McCain is weak on policy while strong on working with the democrats. He is an appeaser. If we Arizonans keep him in the senate, we deserve all the abuse from the federal government we are about to receive, because we will have kept someone who has not the courage to fight.

  2. Agreed. John, your time has come and gone. You do not represent the interests of Arizonans and your record shows it. Please retire.

  3. Patrick, you have obviously not looked at the candidate who is running against McCain??!! McCain is so out of JD’s league on so many levels it is crazy. McCain FIGHTS AGAINST big government, he has been LOUD on this issue, McCain fights against the massive spending, fights Obamacare, fights stronger then any other Senator in Congress. Losing McCain and gaining JD would be painful, dangerous and horrific for Arizona and for the Nation. JD does not only run on zero intelligence, but he has such a bloated ego, he looks at his own gain first, before that of the Country or of AZ. JD cannot return to Congress, he is not the consistent guy he says he is, he is a spender inside a slogan!

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