It was a surprise that former state GOP chairman Eric Holcomb suddenly dropped out of the Senate primary on Monday just days after the candidate filing season ended.
But it's no surprise he might have concluded he couldn't win. Holcomb had raised significantly less money than his opponents: U.S. Reps. Marlin Stutzman and Todd Young. The difference was enough to make it tough for him to compete.
Now with Holcomb out of the picture, though, the remaining candidates seem much better matched financially. And while IBJ reporter Hayleigh Colombo reported the numbers earlier today, they're worth repeating here.
Young has raised the most-—about $2.1 million in 2015. And he only spent about $660,000. That leaves Young with a hefty $2.1 million moving into the May primary.
That's nearly twice as much as Stutzman, who raised a healthy $1.7 million last year. But he also spent more than $1 million, leaving with about $1.1 million in cash on hand.
Still, Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Politics at IPFW, said the difference is not that important. "They are close enough that they can be competitive with each other," Downs said.
And their relative situations depend in part on what they've already spent money on. If large parts of Stutzman's spending have gone to cutting TV commercials or paying in advance for social media strategy, the difference could be less than it seems.
Downs said we'll soon see.
"Pretty soon, we're going to start having things show up in our mailboxes," Downs said of campaign materials. "Things are really going to be ramping up."
Read more stories about the 2016 election at our Ballot Box page.