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Toomey banks bucks for Specter challenge

The fundraising matches his haul during his first three months as a candidate and gives him a platform from which to run against Specter, who has a massive fortune of his own.

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Toomey, the former head of the Club for Growth who narrowly lost to Specter in the 2004 Republican primary, will report raising more than $3.1 million since he announced his candidacy. The campaign has already surpassed the total number of donors it had during the 2004 run, according to a statement.

Tabulators have yet to finish counting how much Toomey has left on hand. During the second quarter of the year, when he raised nearly $1.6 million, Toomey spent at a fast clip, burning through more than $520,000.

Specter, who switched parties earlier this year to improve his 2010 fortunes, ended the second quarter with $7.5 million in the bank, better than any Democratic incumbent running for reelection this cycle.

Specter’s financial position is only likely to improve this quarter. Last month, he hosted President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden faces monumental task healing divided country Garth Brooks to play at Biden swearing-in ceremony Obama honors MLK Day: 'He never gave in to violence, never waved a traitorous flag' MORE at a Philadelphia fundraiser that raised $2.5 million, to be split between Specter’s campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Specter's campaign has not finished tabulating its own report. Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Sestak (D), Specter's primary election opponent, has not released his own quarterly report. Sestak ended June with more than $4.2 million on hand.

Recent polls in the race have suggested a close contest. A Quinnipiac University survey conducted during the last full week of September showed Toomey leading by a single point, 43 percent to 42.

Meanwhile, the same poll showed Specter leading Sestak by 19 points, 44 percent to 25. That gap had closed from a 32-point Specter advantage in the company's July survey. Toomey led Sestak in a hypothetical match-up by a 38 percent-to-35 percent margin.