Records released Wednesday by federal regulators show the Orange County congresswoman closed her campaign books on Sept. 30 with $879,000 in the bank - a troubling sign in her effort to stage an upset on Nov. 8.
California has some of the nation’s most expensive media markets, and it appears unlikely Sanchez can finance a sustained run of TV ads she needs to try to close the gap with front-runner Kamala Harris.
Harris, the state attorney general, ended the quarter with over $4 million in the bank and has been airing TV ads to sway late-deciding voters.
Harris has never trailed in polls and has been endorsed by President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown.
The lopsided race between the two Democrats has been largely overshadowed by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The matchup marks the first time since voters started electing senators a century ago that Republicans are absent from California’s general election ballot for the Senate, reaffirming the GOP’s diminished stature in the nation’s most populous state.
If elected this fall, Harris, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, would set historical marks. She would become the first Indian woman to hold a Senate seat and the second black woman elected to the Senate. Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun was elected in 1992 and served one term.
If elected, Sanchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, could become one of the first Latinas to hold a U.S. Senate seat. Catherine Cortez Masto, who is also Hispanic, is the Democratic candidate for outgoing Sen. Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada.
With Harris the favorite of the Democratic establishment, Sanchez has been attempting to stitch together an unusual coalition that would include Republicans, Latinos, and moderate independents and Democrats.
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