Blackburn outraises GOP opponent by $500,000 in Tenn. Senate primary

Blackburn outraises GOP opponent by $500,000 in Tenn. Senate primary
© Greg Nash

Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Hillicon Valley: Google delays cutting off Huawei | GOP senators split over breaking up big tech | Report finds DNC lagging behind RNC on cybersecurity MORE (R-Tenn.) outraised her main GOP Senate primary opponent by more than $500,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to numbers released by both campaigns.

Blackburn’s campaign announced that it raised $2 million in the fourth fundraising quarter of last year, which covers fundraising between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. She ended December with $4.6 million cash on hand. She launched her bid on Oct. 5.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Stephen FincherStephen Lee FincherLamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP Trump backs Blackburn's Tennessee Senate bid MORE’s campaign announced that he brought in $1.45 million in the first two months of his run and ended December with $3.7 million in the bank, according to The Tennessean. He announced his bid on Oct. 22.

Blackburn and Fincher are competing in the Aug. 2 primary for the seat that will be vacated by Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerJeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020 Ex-GOP Sen. Corker: Trump primary would be 'good thing for our country' MORE (R-Tenn.). The GOP primary for the open-seat race is expected to be competitive.

Whoever emerges from the GOP primary will likely go up against former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is currently the only Democrat in the race. Democrat James Mackler, an attorney and Iraq War veteran, dropped out of the race following Bredesen’s entry.

Democrats are feeling more emboldened about Tennessee’s Senate race with Bredesen as their likely standard-bearer. But it’ll still be an uphill climb for him since Democrats haven’t won a Senate seat there in nearly 30 years. Bredesen easily won his gubernatorial reelection in 2006, but hasn’t campaigned for office in more than a decade.

Bredesen’s campaign has yet to release any fundraising numbers, and it remains to be seen if he’ll self-fund, which he’s done in previous bids for office.

One poll conducted in mid-December by a pro-Trump super PAC found Blackburn leading Bredesen by 9 points, while another poll conducted for Senate Democrats' campaign arm showed the former governor leading by 5 points.