Kennedy's Early Strike

Congressman Patrick Kennedy has opened up a sizable fundraising lead on his Republican challenger, John Loughlin II, according to end-of-year filings: he has more than four times as much cash on hand, the ProJo reports this morning.

The gap could make a big difference when it comes time to run TV ads in the summer or fall, of course. But it also serves as a sort of pre-emptive strike: making the race less attractive to out-of-state Republican donors and operatives, who are likely to focus on races they think are winnable in what is shaping up as a defining election.

That said, Loughlin can count on the Kennedy name to attract a decent chunk of change from conservative activists outside the party structure. 

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