Democrat Emily Cain raised more money than incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the second quarter of 2016, although the freshman congressman still has a nearly $1 million advantage over Cain, according to a newly released campaign finance report from the Federal Elections Commission.

From April 1 to June 30, Cain raised more than $542,000, while Poliquin drew in about $413,000, the report found. Yet Poliquin finished the quarter with $2.1 million cash on hand, while Cain had $1.15 million.

To date this election cycle, Cain has raised more than $1.6 million, while Poliquin has raised about $2.6 million.

The two are virtually tied, with 41 percent of voters supporting Poliquin, 40 percent supporting Cain, 7 percent supporting someone else and 12 percent undecided, according to a recent poll by the Portland Press Herald/ Maine Sunday Telegram conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

Cain also raised more money than Poliquin in the April quarterly report and a pre-primary report released in June. A news release from her office Saturday said Cain is gaining momentum in terms of fundraising and is “beginning to overcome Congressman Poliquin,” though a spokesman for Poliquin also said Saturday that his campaign continues to maintain a strong lead over Cain and he is not worried about perceptions she is closing the fundraising gap.

“The scoreboard right now shows Congressman Poliquin with a nearly $1 million cash on hand advantage,” said Brent Littlefield, a political consultant for Poliquin.


In 2014 Cain spent about $200,000 more on her campaign and also raised more, yet she lost to Poliquin in the election by five points. Independent Blaine Richardson also captured about 11 percent of the vote.

Both campaigns said Saturday that aside from the finances, they also had other advantages in the race, with Cain’s campaign saying in its release that the “story behind the numbers is not just Congressman Poliquin’s dwindling income but his failure to attract support from real people.” While a majority of Cain’s support comes from individual donors, her release criticized Poliquin for ties to “big banks and financial services groups on Wall Street.”

The July quarterly report released Friday shows a greater number of individual contributions for Cain but does not break the donations down by contributor or where they are from.

“These latest numbers prove that our people-powered campaign has picked up even more momentum,” Cain said in the release. “Mainers understand what is at stake this year. Congressman Poliquin has put himself at the center of a network which ships our jobs overseas and rakes in money and power. He works for himself, not for Maine people.”

According to the report, Poliquin received about twice as much in donations as Cain from political party and other committees, such as PACs, in the second quarter.

The Press Herald poll released earlier this month showed Poliquin to have only 33 percent favorability among voters in the 2nd District; but Littlefield, the spokesman for Poliquin, called the poll “not accurate” and said Maine voters are happy with the congressman’s performance.


“Maine people have responded to his message,” Littlefield said. “We’re seeing and hearing from folks that are very appreciative of the work he’s been doing. It’s not just a financial advantage; we believe we also have an issue advantage. People have had a chance to see him at work, and they like what they see.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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