Political Insider

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Jim Barksdale improves fundraising but still trails Johnny Isakson significantly in money game

Democrat Jim Barksdale considerably beefed up his fundraising effort in recent months in his bid to oust U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. But it may be too little, too late against a Republican incumbent with nearly $2.3 million in the bank heading into October.

Fresh fundraising reports seen by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday showed Barksdale raised more than $323,000 between July and the end of September, more than three times better than he did earlier this summer. He started October with more than $837,000 on hand.

But he was trumped by Isakson's third quarter haul of more than $1.1 million.

A Barksdale spokesman said the campaign is "quickly building momentum" to win on Nov. 8.

"We're pleased that an increasing number of Georgians are not only supporting us with endorsements, field efforts and getting out for early voting, but also by reaching into their pockets to fight against Senator Isakson's campaign that's underwritten by big money special interests," said Greg Minchak.

The new filings showcase yet another metric by which the political neophyte trails Isakson significantly with three weeks until Election Day. Recent polling has estimated the Democrat trails the two-term incumbent by an average of 16 percentage-points in the contest.

The race has gotten increasingly nasty in recent weeks as Barksdale and Isakson unveiled dueling attack ads on trade and the Democrat hit the incumbent on his continued support of Donald Trump after leaked audio showed the Republican nominee speaking lewdly about groping women.

The new federal data showed Barksdale continued to dip into his own deep pockets to finance his run, loaning his campaign $400,000 in the third quarter. The numbers also indicate that the Democrat has slowed the spigot, since that represents a fraction of what the Atlanta investment manager has given his campaign in the recent past.

Barksdale has loaned his campaign $3.5 million to date.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.