Politics

Small donors rack up $1.3 million for Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown, $77.89 at a time

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Most of the 16,000 contributors who are responsible for Republican Scott Brown banking $1.3 million in campaign bucks on Monday for his Massachusetts Senate campaign came from grass roots donors averaging $77.89 a donation, his campaign said.

“It went viral,” Felix Browne, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican told The Daily Caller. Help from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both Republicans who sent emails to their supporters encouraging them to donate, helped bring in dollars from across the country.

Rob Eno, a Brown supporter and one of the operators of blog RedMassGroup.com, said he helped raise over $12,000 for the money bomb off his Web site with an application for visitors to donate to Brown’s campaign. The Brown enthusiast donated $50 to the campaign minutes after the money bomb began early Monday morning.

“I’ve been involved in Massachusetts politics for 10 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Eno said of the grassroots involvement for Brown.

The $1,303,302.50 total is the result from Monday’s 24-hour long “Red Invades Blue” online fundraiser that Brown said will be used for “a final push for advertising” to help combat negative ads “which are already starting.”

On Monday night, Brown’s opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley, released her “Lockstep Republican” ad, in an attempt to tie Brown to conservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“Who is Scott Brown really?” the voice in Coakley’s television ad begins. “A Republican. In lockstep with Washington Republicans.”

Brown’s campaign released a counter-ad, with the candidate on-screen saying, “Instead of discussing issues like health care and jobs, they decided the best way to stop me is to tear me down.”

Coakley has largely exceeded Brown in fundraising numbers throughout the duration of the campaign. In December, Coakley reported having $937,383.31 cash on hand, while Brown reported $367,150.88. The next reporting period is in February.

Coakley’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

The special election, set for next Tuesday, is for the seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Libertarian Joe Kennedy, running as an independent and unrelated to the well-known Kennedy family, is also on the ballot.

Poll numbers showing a tightening race — combined with the fact that the outcome of the election will likely have an impact on Obama’s healthcare bill — has energized both sides.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rasmussen Reports released their poll of likely voters that has Coakley at 49 percent and Brown at 47 percent.

The Democrats are utilizing their star power as Former President Bill Clinton and Sen. John Kerry are set to headline rallies, the Associated Press reported, and President Barack Obama sent out a fundraising email Monday night on behalf of Coakley, writing ”The outcome of this race couldn’t be more important.”

And national Democrats poured even more money into the race Tuesday, as the Congressional Quarterly reported that in the first case of independent expenditures by either of the national parties, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has made a $567,000 ad buy for Coakley.