AP's Nick Riccardi:
Sen. Mark Udall's campaign says it raised $2 million in the first quarter of the year, transforming the Democrat's re-election bid against a tough opponent from a low-key contest into a top-tier national race.
The campaign will file reports showing it has $5.9 million cash on hand to fight off Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who made a surprise entry into the race more than halfway through the quarter…
Polls have shown Udall narrowly ahead of most Republicans in Colorado. After Gardner's entry, national conservative and liberal groups began airing ads in the state. Analysts predict the race will be one of the most expensive in the nation.
FOX 31's Eli Stokols:
Udall, a Democrat facing a strong challenge from Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, raised $2,068,205.47 in the year’s first fundraising quarter.
That brings his total cash on hand to $5,904,534.45 in what’s become a top-ten race that could determine control of the Senate.
It's worth noting that much of Q1 went by without a serious challenger for incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, with Republican opponent Cory Gardner only entering the race in the last week of February. Such a massive haul in a quarter spent mostly without a serious opponent speaks to Udall's strong position–which should only become stronger as urgency builds around this race. This is not to say that Gardner will want for money: we assume his campaign went all out trying to produce an impressive Q1 number as well, and we expect Gardner's campaign to keep pace all the way through election season.
But for now, by orders of magnitude, advantage Udall.