Tis that time of the year when candidates begin announcing their quarterly fundraising totals, and all eyes are on the U.S. Senate race.  Everyone knows that sitting Sen. Mark Udall would be able to raise big bucks.  Such is the advantage of incumbency.  The question was how much money would challenger Rep. Cory Gardner bring to the table?  Until now the GOP Senate hopefuls had suffered from lackluster fundraising.  Would Gardner be able to give Udall a run for his money? 

With the announcement of Gardner’s $1.4 million fundraising haul, the answer is a decisive hell yeah!  From Gardner’s campaign:

In March alone, his first month in the race against 16 year incumbent Mark Udall, Gardner raised $1.24 million. Gardner raised $1.4 million during the entire first quarter of 2014.

Yes Peak Nation, you read that correctly.  Gardner raised $1.24 million of that in the four weeks following his entrance into the race.  The outpouring of support shows just how hungry Colorado is for real leadership.  In total, Gardner has $2.1 million cash on hand.

Overall, $1.4 million is exactly where Gardner needs to be.  At the end of the day, he doesn’t need to outraise Udall, and no one expects him to.  He just needs to raise enough money to stay competitive and fund a statewide campaign infrastructure.  After all, outside money is ultimately going to dominate the paid media effort.

What Gardner’s Q1 numbers prove is that his fundraising machine can hold its own against Team Udall and that the buzz surrounding his decision to run wasn’t for naught.  It won’t be long before Udall starts to feel like maybe his heart is not really in it this time around, and he’d rather spend his free time hiking.