U.S. Sen. John Boozman started October with nearly $1.7 million in the bank after raising more than $579,000 during the third quarter of 2016, his campaign announced Wednesday.
Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge, Boozman's Democratic challenger, hasn't released his latest fundraising figures yet; the deadline for filing them is Saturday.
A spokesman for Eldridge didn't respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon and early evening. As of June 30, he had raised $1.3 million and spent nearly $1 million. He had cash on hand of $315,071 at that time.
Boozman, a Republican from Rogers, issued a written statement thanking his donors.
"I am grateful for the outpouring of statewide support our campaign has received. Arkansans are making a strong investment to ensure our message will continue to be heard across the state. I am excited and encouraged as we make our final push toward Election Day and will continue to fight against President [Barack] Obama's handpicked opponent and his liberal agenda," he said.
Boozman has raised roughly $4.6 million this election cycle. The general election is Nov. 8.
The senator's campaign spent about $979,000 during the quarter. Of that, more than $600,000 was used to purchase television ads, according to Chris Caldwell, Boozman's campaign manager.
"We're going to continue to push the senator's message all across every corner of the state," Caldwell added. "We'll be up [on television] until the Election Day."
Overall spending in this year's race is down sharply from 2010, the year Boozman unseated Democrat Blanche Lincoln. It's also far lower than in 2014, when then-U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican, defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat.
During the 2010 election cycle, outside groups spent $17.1 million trying to influence the outcome of the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas, according to Federal Election Commission data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. During the 2014 cycle, outside groups poured $36.4 million into the Arkansas contest.
This time, only $180,093 in outside spending had been reported as of Tuesday, the center reported.
The Washington-based nonpartisan, nonprofit group, which tracks money in politics, said spending is high elsewhere. Outside spending in the Senate race in Pennsylvania has reached $72.7 million. In New Hampshire, it's $55.2 million; in Ohio, $50.5 million.
"I think the lack of outside spending shows that this really isn't a competitive race, and all the groups are spending their money where it might make more of a difference. (I don't know what the poll numbers are, but my guess is Boozman is way ahead)," the group's spokesman, Viveca Novak, said in an email.
In Arkansas, the America Ascendant PAC has spent $164,805 on pro-Republican ads and $15,288 on anti-Democrat ads.
The Alexandria, Va.-based PAC received $250,000 from Mountaire Corp. Chairman Ronald Cameron of Little Rock and $250,000 from Stephens Inc. executive Warren Stephens of Little Rock.
Metro on 10/13/2016