Democrat Vincent Sheheen has more money than Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. But Sheheen's money lead could be fleeting because Haley has momentum.
Haley's commanding performances in the Republican primary and subsequent runoff, paired with national media exposure, are building her a broad fundraising base that bodes well for her gubernatorial candidacy.
The latest quarterly financial reports show Haley, a Lexington state representative, raised nearly 70 percent of the almost $543,000 that she raised during the April-June quarter on primary day, June 8, and in the weeks that followed.
Haley fell just short of winning the June 8 GOP primary outright. Her strong win and the historic nature of her candidacy - she is an Indian-American woman - have translated into national media attention and nationwide donations, including some large ones from presidential hopefuls.
Meanwhile, Sheheen raised $366,000 during the quarter, trailing Haley by $177,000.
But Sheheen has some bragging rights, too.
The Camden state senator now has more cash on hand to spend than Haley, more than $262,000 to her nearly $183,000. He also has raised more money over the course of the election cycle - $1.7 million to Haley's $1.4 million.
Haley raised $151,900 from out-of-state sources, while Sheheen took in $7,100 from outside the state during the quarter.
The campaign reports show other distinctions between the candidates' political support as well. Haley received donations from both South Carolina and national Republicans; Sheheen's support largely is among S.C. Democrats.
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who may run for president in 2012, gave Haley $38,500 through his various political action committees while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, also considering a Republican presidential run, donated $3,500, through his PAC.
Also donating to Haley were U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's re-election committee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, the country's only Indian-American governor, and the Indian-American Republican PAC.
But former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also mulling a GOP presidential run, has not donated to Haley despite endorsing her. Palin's endorsement helped buoy Haley to top contender status in the four-way S.C. GOP primary.
Palin has given to other S.C. candidates recently, including $5,000 to U.S. House candidate Tim Scott of Charleston, Scott told The State on Monday.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey would not elaborate on why Palin has not donated to Haley, saying, "We're very happy with where we are today."
Meanwhile, Sheheen's political support was largely in South Carolina during the quarter, including donations from state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, former S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges and former S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian.
Sheheen did not receive money from national Democrats.
Sheheen's camp seized on the difference between the two candidates in out-of-state fundraising - where Haley held a 20-to-1 advantage - Monday.
"Nikki Haley is running a campaign outside of South Carolina, and we're running a campaign for people in South Carolina," said Trav Robertson, Sheheen's campaign manager.
Godfrey said the Haley campaign would not apologize for its out-of-state donations. "We're never going to apologize for her compelling, personal story or her conservative, reform message that has garnered attention from around the nation," he said.