Elizabeth Dole did a large ad buy in June and July, and still finds herself with more than twice as much cash on hand as Kay Hagan.
Obviously that's partly because Hagan had a somewhat serious primary challenge, which Dole didn't. But it's also because Hagan got a late start into the race. She might be in a much better position financially if she had signed up in March or April rather than October. That dead time before there's really much of a race is prime time for fundraising, but because of Hagan's late entry she had to start active campaigning almost immediately.
Democratic challengers will have a better chance against Richard Burr if some candidates get into the race in early 2009. We'll have numbers on Burr's approval that might get folks thinking about it early next week.
Update: The Hagan campaign points out in a press release that since April 17th Dole has raised just $150,000 more than them, and that Dole's cash on hand advantage has gone from being ten times as much as Hagan's to just a little more than twice as much.
Hagan is definitely doing an impressive job of fundraising, and her competitiveness over the last ten weeks bodes well for her ability to keep up with Dole on the air this fall. That Dole still has a significant cash on hand advantage despite Hagan's catching up of late is just one more reason why it would be nice to have our 2010 candidates raising money for much of 2009. Hagan might be in even better shape if she had been doing the same for the entirety of 2007.