BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With one month until election day, gubernatorial candidate David Vitter has as much spending money on hand as all three leading competitors combined, according to reports released Thursday by the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.
"Senator Vitter is in command in the war chest race. He's got enough to match every candidate spot for spot and then some," said political analyst, Jim Engster. "The David in this race is Goliath, and the rest of the candidates are shooting with sling shots while he's got a cannon."
Vitter has $4 million in his bank, according to data submitted by the campaign. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has $1.6 million, while Scott Angelle has $1 million. The sole Democrat, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, has $1.4 million.
"They've got enough money to present a message," Engster said. "The problem for them is that David Vitter, who is the best known, has three or four times the money they have so they can't compete with him."
In the latest reporting period, July 17 through September 14, Edwards and Vitter were nearly matched in campaign contributions. Edwards received
$841,974, while Vitter gained $839,036.
Angelle and Dardenne lagged behind. Angelle raised $616,680, while Dardenne's campaign income was $376,345.
That said, Dardenne is spent heavily during the reporting period, with a rate nearly double his income. Much of that money was spent on TV advertising.
Engster said Dardenne waited to get in on the spending game, while Angelle spent a lot of money at the outset of the campaign.
"In the process, Angelle got some traction and some of those who may have been prone to vote for Jay Dardenne are now leaning toward Angelle," Engster said. "But that could change, it's just a question of whether four weeks is enough to make it happen."
Engster said it is currently Vitter's race to lose. He said Vitter may save some of his money right now, giving him a financial advantage if he makes it to the run-off.
The full financial reports for the gubernatorial candidates can be found here:
Election day is on Saturday, Oct. 24.