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Franken has $4.8 million banked as midterm elections draw nearer

WASHINGTON - As 2013 drew to a close, Al Franken's Senate re-election campaign was sending forth a steady stream of emails asking for contributions. Once again, that strategy has netted Minnesota's junior senator another $2 million-plus quarter fueled by online contributions.

Including the $2.1 million raised in the three months ending Dec. 31, Franken's campaign said it had $4.8 million in its coffers at the start of an election year that Republicans hope will go their way, in part by defeating deep-pocketed Democratic incumbents such as Franken.

Only one of the gaggle of Republicans who are running for Senate have announced their fundraising yet ahead of a Jan. 31 federal filing deadline. Businessman Mike McFadden's campaign raised $780,000 and he sits on a $1.7 million war chest.

Franken seems to be spending money at an equally rapid pace. When his campaign last announced its fundraising in October, he had $3.9 million in the bank, which means the campaign spent $1.2 million in the past three months.

The campaign was quick to tout the effectiveness of Franken's online fundraising machine noting that more than 34,000 donors gave money in the fourth quarter and that 97 percent of Franken's donations were $100 or less.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the year-end Federal Election Commission deadline. It is Jan. 31.

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