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2012 U.S. Senate Incumbent Cash on Hand Rankings

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Most "safe" incumbents lagging behind the pack in cash on hand through 2010

As day breaks on Thursday, some D.C. officeholders are making one final push on the last day of fundraising for the first quarter of 2011.

And while new quarterly numbers won't be available for a few weeks, here is how the nation's 25 U.S. Senators running for reelection in 2012 stack up relative to one another in terms of cash on hand through the 4th Quarter of 2010:

Cash on Hand for 2012 U.S. Senate Incumbents Through 2010

Rank
State
Senator
Party
Cash on Hand
1
MA
Scott Brown
GOP
$7,176,245
2
CA
Dianne Feinstein
Democrat
$3,853,697
3
FL
Bill Nelson
Democrat
$3,083,493
4
UT
Orrin Hatch
GOP
$2,509,182
5
NJ
Bob Menendez
Democrat
$2,426,682
6
IN
Richard Lugar
GOP
$2,351,185
7
MI
Debbie Stabenow
Democrat
$2,033,077
8
MN
Amy Klobuchar
Democrat
$1,613,680
9
OH
Sherrod Brown
Democrat
$1,520,209
10
NE
Ben Nelson
Democrat
$1,450,037
11
PA
Bob Casey
Democrat
$1,315,935
12
ME
Olympia Snowe
GOP
$1,234,629
13
TN
Bob Corker
GOP
$1,135,539
14
WI
Herb Kohl*
Democrat
$1,004,348
15
MO
Claire McCaskill
Democrat
$905,018
16
DE
Tom Carper
Democrat
$799,054
17
RI
Sheldon Whitehouse
Democrat
$722,999
18
NY
Kirsten Gillibrand
Democrat
$614,593
19
WY
John Barrasso
GOP
$601,811
20
MT
Jon Tester
Democrat
$561,822
21
VT
Bernie Sanders
Independent
$535,594
22
WA
Maria Cantwell
Democrat
$499,264
23
MS
Roger Wicker
GOP
$402,771
24
MD
Ben Cardin
Democrat
$385,385
25
WV
Joe Manchin
Democrat
$377,306
* Herb Kohl has not yet officially announced his 2012 plans. Source: Table compiled from FEC data.

It remains to be seen how these numbers will change by next month, but it is interesting to note that almost all of the incumbents deemed "safe" by the leading D.C. prognosticators rank in the bottom half of cash on hand.

Larry Sabato, Charlie Cook, and Stu Rothenberg each agree that Ben Cardin (#24), Roger Wicker (#23), Bernie Sanders (#21), John Barrasso (#19), Kirsten Gillibrand (#18), Sheldon Whitehouse (#17), Tom Carper (#16), and Bob Corker (#13) are all 'safe' in 2012.

The only two Senators unanimously considered safe at the top of the list by these three political observers are California's Dianne Feinstein (#2) and Utah's Orrin Hatch (#4).

Feinstein, of course, represents the most populous state in the nation, so even a relatively safe candidate in the Golden State needs to raise more money than most senators to reach the millions more voters that populate California.

(However, last week Smart Politics challenged the notion that Feinstein is invincible as she seeks a fifth term next year).

Candidates will begin to roll out their new fundraising totals in about a week, with FEC data published in the middle of April.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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