House Challenger Josh Welle outraised longtime Rep. Chris Smith almost three-to-one in the third quarter, bringing in $702,396.42 to Smith’s $263,527.17.
But, while both candidates spent more money than they pulled in between July 1 and Sept. 30, Smith enters the election’s final weeks with almost twice as much cash on hand, with $644,665.28 to Welle’s $335,161.37.
The difference in spending was of a similar scale, though it cut in the other direction, with Welle outspending Smith $744,716.50 to $372,466.29.
There’s been no public polling of the race in the district, which smith has held for more than three decades, and it’s not clear how Welle’s media strategy is improving his position in on of the state’s reddest districts.
If his internal polling shows Smith under pressure, he’ll be able to move into the final weeks with some advantage – unless Welle’s bridged the cash gap in the first two weeks of October.