A look inside the campaign finance reports filed this week shows why Republican Pat McCrory is dominating the money race: Walter Dalton started the general election with nothing in the bank.
The Democratic candidate's primary contest with Bob Etheridge and Bill Faison cost him just about everything in his campaign account. Dalton entered 2012 with $590,000 in the bank and raised $887,000 in the primary. But he spent roughly $1.5 million to win his party's nomination.
At the end, Dalton's campaign spent what it took to win, including about $670,000 for a television commercial and another approximately $70,000 for direct mailings to voters. In the same amount of time, he raised just $230,000.
McCrory raised $2.2 million, more than double Dalton's $1 million in the second quarter. It helped McCrory continue to build his campaign coffer to $4.4 million at a time where Dalton is starting from scratch. The money will give McCrory more resources to get his message to the voters in the 2012 election.
McCrory, by contrast, faced no credible challenger in his primary election. And his 3,200 donors in the second quarter doubled the number of contributions for Dalton and approximately 80 percent gave more than $1,000.
The 175 donors who gave the maximum $4,000 contribution -- for a combined $700,000 in the second quarter -- represented one-third of his overall donations.
The good news for Dalton: his big donor pace is strong. Dalton raised $320,000 from 80 donors who gave the max, the same rate as McCrory. The problem for Dalton: he just doesn't have as many donors -- 1,500 from late April through the end of June.
The Republican and Democratic candidates are getting roughly equal amounts of support from their respective state parties and various political action committees, with those groups giving each about 6 percent of their total haul.
Wake County is the largest contributor by amount to each candidate this quarter: McCrory took $425,000 and Dalton took a lesser $132,000. But the wealth of support from each candidate's home county is readily apparent. For Dalton, Rutherford County is his third best county, giving $90,000. McCrory's home base, Mecklenburg County, is his second biggest county at $396,000. (Dalton took just $58,000 from Mecklenburg.)
McCrory is also spending big money. Like Dalton, political consultants and media production costs are his biggest line items. McCrory paid Smart Media, a video production firm, $410,000 in the second quarter. His fundraiser with Jeb Bush also cost a pretty penny: $8,100 for a private jet and $11,251 catering bill at Angus Barn.