Gov. Jon Corzine has outspent Republican rival Christopher Christie by $11.4 million so far, according to 29-day pre-election reports filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Corzine, who is self-financing his re-election bid, has raised and spent $16.8 million ($15.6 million of which is from his own pocket), while Christie, a former U.S. Attorney, has raised and spent $9.6 million. Christie has received $5.8 million in matching funds; Corzine is not participating in the public financing program.
Independent Christopher Daggett has raised $1.1 million, including his $605,000 in matching funds. He has spent $954,688 so far.
Christie has $4.2 million on hand to Daggett’s $109,000 and Corzine’s $20,000.
The numbers do not include the very significant amounts spent on television ads the Republican Governors Association, Democratic Governors Association, and other independent groups.
According to ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle, the three major candidates this year have raised 10% less and spend 20% less than Corzine and Republican Doug Forrester did four years ago. That’s largely due to the fact that two of the three candidates are using the public financing system, which caps the amount they can raise. But there are other factors at play as well.
“There are differences this time around that can account for the reduction in financial activity,” said Brindle. “Both candidates in 2005 opted out of the public financing system and were largely self-funded. Moreover, economic conditions and Pay-to-Play laws may be making potential donors hesitant to make contributions.”
The nine other third party or independent gubernatorial candidates have raised a total of $28,582 and spent $12,227.