Democrat Emily Cain outraised Republican Bruce Poliquin from July through September, but she has $300,000 less left in her coffers in the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, according to preliminary figures released by the campaigns this week.

Details of the campaigns’ filings won’t be available until they’re due to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, but it’s likely that the candidates already have raised more together than any two House opponents in Maine since 2000 and probably ever, according to data that goes back 14 years from the Center for Responsive Politics, a national organization that tracks the use of money in politics.

Cain, an Orono state senator, will report raising $670,000 in the third quarter of 2014, her campaign said on Thursday; while a spokesman for Poliquin, a former state treasurer from Oakland, said he raised more than $600,000.

Campaign-long, that would mean Cain has raised more than $1.5 million, while Poliquin has gotten more than $1.4 million. That probably passes Maine’s high mark of less than $2.9 million, the total raised in 2008 between U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and her unsuccessful Republican opponent, Charlie Summers.

However, the real story may be in the amount of money the campaigns say they have left: Poliquin will report having had slightly more than $700,000 at September’s end, while Cain will say she had more than $400,000 left in her coffers then, their campaigns said.

Brent Littlefield, an advisor to the Poliquin campaign, said the candidate, a wealthy businessman, contributed some money to his campaign that quarter. However, Littlefield said on Friday that he didn’t know exactly how much. Poliquin gave his campaign $115,000 before the end of June.

Poliquin’s money lead may be larger, given that his campaign already has reserved television time through Election Day, while Cain’s campaign hasn’t. Her campaign spokeswoman, Amy Cookson, said the campaign buys time week to week.

The race to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat running for governor, is expected to be close. A Portland Press Herald poll in late September showed Poliquin 10 points up, but it had a small sample size.

On Monday, the Cook Political Report, a Washington newsletter for political insiders, said “most other private polls continue to show Cain up by a small margin.” It also said that “some Democrats grumble that Cain has run subpar ads that don’t depict her as well as she comes across in person.”

While the race leans toward Cain, it said the race is “closer than expected” and could be a toss-up soon.

Sensing that, national party interests have committed more than $2 million to the race. If that holds, it will be the costliest House race in Maine’s history by that measure.

Outside national groups allied with Cain probably will help her by running ads in the campaign’s last week. But so far, only the House Majority PAC, a liberal super-PAC, has time booked for then.

Matt Thornton, a spokesman for the group, said they have $315,000 reserved in the week ahead of Nov. 4, in addition to other advertising purchases the group announced in late September. But they’ll have to contend with the National Republican Campaign Committee, which has reserved $1.5 million in ad time in Maine markets.

When the filings come in Wednesday, it’ll be the public’s last look at campaign finances before late October, when the campaign are making final pushes.

In a statement, Matthew Hutson, Poliquin’s campaign manager, said “once again,” the Republican “is showing he is a better manager of money” than Cain, whom he dubbed a tax-and-spend liberal.

However, Cain’s campaign said the campaign is comfortable with its standing.

“As we head into the final month of the campaign, we will continue talking with voters (about) why Emily Cain will be the best voice to represent the middle class,” said Levi Knapp, her campaign manager, in a statement.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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