Alexander raised $770K in 4th quarter; Carr $251K (balances: Alexander $3.2M, Carr $405K)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign says it raised nearly $770,000 in the fourth quarter and that it ended the year with $3.2 million on hand.

Alexander, a former Tennessee governor, is running for a third term in the Senate. He raised a total of about $4.7 million in 2013, and his minute-long television ads have been in heavy rotation around the state.

Alexander is being challenged in the Republican primary by state Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro, who said he raised $250,000 in the fourth quarter, after raising just $52,000 in the previous reporting period.

Carr, who in August dropped a congressional bid to instead challenge Alexander, raised about $609,000 in 2013 and had $405,000 remaining at the end of the quarter.

Note: Campaign fundraising spin (also known as press releases) below.

News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign:
NASHVILLE, TN – Senator Lamar Alexander’s re-election campaign today announced that the campaign began 2014 with $3.18 million cash on hand, bringing the total raised for 2013 to $4.66 million.

“As senator and governor, Lamar Alexander has been standing up for Tennessee and we are ready to stand up for him. We’ve raised money from thousands of donors across our state and are grateful for their support,” said Alexander for Senate Finance Chairman Steve Smith.

The campaign raised $768,353 in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Alexander campaign is chaired by Congressman Jimmy Duncan, with co-chairmen Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker Beth Harwell, as well as Congressmen Blackburn, Roe, Black, Fincher, and Fleischmann.

The campaign’s Honorary Co-Chairmen include former U.S. Senators Howard Baker, Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, as well as former Governors Winfield Dunn and Don Sundquist.

Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Statewide Committee to Elect Lamar Alexander are all 13 living former state Republican Party chairs.

News release from Joe Carr campaign:
Nashville, TN–Today, the Carr for U.S. Senate Campaign filed its fourth-quarter FEC fundraising report showing $405,150 cash on hand, $251,173 raised in the fourth-quarter, and $609,154 in total receipts for the campaign to date. The campaign also reported over 1,263 new donors for the quarter and donations from all 95 Tennessee counties.

“Senator Alexander is well to the left of the conservative mainstream in Tennessee – supporting amnesty, failing to fight to defund Obamacare, and putting veterans’ pensions first in line for cuts. This strong fundraising report demonstrates we will have the financial support necessary to hold Senator Alexander accountable for that record and the ability to offer voters a clear and consistent conservative alternative vision at the polls this summer,” said Joe Carr.

The impressive fundraising figures have coincided with deteriorating poll numbers for Senator Alexander. A recent Vanderbilt University poll showed a staggering 20 percent decline in Senator Alexander’s approval rating among voters who identify with the Tea Party — and an overall rating under 50 percent – the lowest number of any statewide elected official in Tennessee. Other publicly released polling has showed Senator Alexander receiving only 46 percent of the vote in the Republican primary – a remarkably low number for a candidate who is well known to voters after a 40-year career in Tennessee politics.