Tom Cotton Hauls in Nearly $4M for Third Quarter

Arkansas GOP Senate hopeful uses cash to buy more advertising time.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton raised $3.8 million for his Senate bid against incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor in the third quarter of 2014, Cotton's campaign told National Journal, setting a state record and putting the GOP challenger in a good financial position for the last four weeks of the campaign.

Cotton's big fundraising haul came in part due to new donors: the GOP candidate had 20,444 new donors from July 1 to September 30, per Cotton's campaign.

The Cotton campaign did not disclose its cash-on-hand figure; Pryor's campaign has yet to release its fundraising figures for the third quarter. Last quarter, Cotton outraised Pryor by almost $800,000: Cotton brought in $2.28 million from April to June, compared with $1.5 million for Pryor.

As a result of the campaign's fundraising numbers, Cotton has booked an additional $640,000 in television advertising between now and Nov. 4—including $200,000 in the Jonesboro market, according to Cotton aides.

Cotton's third-quarter fundraising figures are another piece of good news for Natural State Republicans, for whom capturing Pryor's seat is the final step in helping transform Arkansas into a Republican state—and a key part of the GOP's plan to take control of the Senate this November. Though Pryor appeared to hold on in polling earlier this year, most recent polling in the state has given Cotton a modest lead.

Pryor is the final remaining Democratic member of the state's congressional delegation—and former Rep. Mike Ross, the Democrat running to succeed popular Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, is trailing in the polls to GOP candidate Asa Hutchinson.

Democrats aren't giving up without a fight here, though—former President Bill Clinton just finished a two-day, four-event swing through the state for Pryor and Ross and other Democrats on the ticket,aiming both to turn out voters and to brand the GOP as obstructionist and unwilling to work across the aisle.