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Kamala Harris Adds To Huge Cash Advantage in California's U.S. Senate Race

Richard Vogel / AP / File

In this Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, California Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles.

Richard Vogel / AP / File

New campaign finance reports show Kamala Harris has raised more than $14.5 million in her race for California’s U.S. Senate seat.

That’s more three times the nearly $4.5 million raised by her competitor, Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

The totals are through October 19. Harris' is up more than $400,000 from her $14.1 million tally at the end of September. Sanchez' total is up nearly $100,000 over the same period. 

The campaign finance information is posted on the Federal Election Commission website and at opensecrets.org, a website that tracks money in politics run by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Keith Smith, a political science professor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, said Harris, the state’s attorney general, has benefited from union support and cash from the state’s Democratic Party.

“The Democratic Party has decided Harris is who they want to see elected and the money has flowed to her as a result,” Smith said.

He added that Harris’ cash huge cash lead has concrete advantages for her:

“It means that she has an easier time getting her message out,” the professor said. “She can pay for ads in the LA media market, she can pay for ads in the San Francisco media market. She can pay for ads in San Diego. And she can pay for more ads than Sanchez can, because those things are expensive.”

Outside groups such as Super PACs have also favored Harris, Smith said, raising nearly $2.5 million for her. They’ve raised only a small fraction of that for Sanchez.

Harris has also received President Obama’s endorsement.

The candidates are both Democrats and are vying to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer.

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