Candidates and parties in second-quarter fundraising flurry

Wednesday marks the end of the second-quarter fundraising period, which means a flurry of last-minute appeals from campaigns and political parties.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told supporters in an e-mail Tuesday night that the committee is just $61,713 short of its goal for the quarter. The DCCC employed House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as its fundraising villains.

The DCCC is seizing on Boehner's comments about the financial overhaul. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review he suggested the measure was an overreach and said it was like "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

DCCC Executive Director Jon Vogel wrote in Tuesday's fundraising e-mail: "He went on to characterize America's economic crisis as an 'ant.' He said President Obama overreacted to the British Petroleum oil spill, and promised to repeal health insurance reform!"

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used an e-mail plea from Vice President Joe Biden that raised the specter of 1994. "Republican strategists think they can turn 2010 into 1994," Biden warned in the e-mail.

"Help Push Us Over the Top," was the subject line on an e-mail from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to supporters. "We are $45,000 shy of meeting our target and we need your help right now to push us over the top," Steele said in the e-mail.

In Colorado, Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff scored an unexpected endorsement Tuesday as former President Bill Clinton penned a fundraising e-mail for him. Romanoff is facing Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in a primary Aug. 10. Clinton also gave more fundraising help to Rep. Kendrick Meek's (D-Fla.) Senate campaign this week.

The fundraising quarter ends midnight Wednesday. The filing deadline for the quarter is July 15.

Along with the urgent e-mail appeals from the parties, which will keep coming throughout the day Wednesday, candidates in key races across the country have packed in last-minute fundraisers over the past week.

A Tuesday night fundraiser in Washington for Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi (R-Wash.) had several incumbent GOP senators in attendance. California Republican Carly Fiorina also raised money in D.C. this week.

Vice President Joe Biden has been traversing the country to headline events for Democratic candidates. In just the last two weeks Biden has held fundraisers for Senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois, Lee Fisher in Ohio, Sen. Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Chris Coons in Delaware. Biden also raised for Rep. Baron Hill's re-election campaign in Indiana.

Republican candidates have gotten fundraising help from the likes of John Boehner, Tim Pawlenty and Karl Rove in the past week. Boehner has also committed $1 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Battleground" program.

There's plenty to watch when the second-quarter numbers come out, but here's a small sampling of states to watch: Nevada, Florida, Colorado and Kentucky.

The campaign of Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle said it has raised well over a million dollars online since her primary victory. While her total haul isn't expected to near that of Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has already raised nearly $17 million for his reelection, her numbers will offer an indication of her fundraising potential nationwide.

In Florida, Charlie Crist (I) faces a lawsuit from Republican donors who want their money back now that he's left the party. And despite his lead in the polls, Crist needs to show his campaign can still raise money from somewhere.

In Colorado, look to see whether Clinton's backing had a last-minute impact for Romanoff, who trails Sen. Bennet in the Democratic primary. On the Republican side in that state, Jane Norton has held a solid fundraising lead over prosecutor Ken Buck. But Buck's fundraising has likely picked up as his support from conservative activists around the country has grown.

And in Kentucky's Senate race, Democrat Jack Conway just barely outraised Republican Rand Paul in the first quarter. Look to see whether Paul's online fundraising efforts can help him keep pace with Conway, who has a reputation in the state as a strong fundraiser.

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