The Friends of Chuck Morse have finally filed their financial documents, and the numbers confirm what critics suspected when the campaign ignored the June 19 filing deadline: Morse is falling behind in the money race.

According to the documents filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday, the former state Senate president raised just over $380,000 since December 2023, and he spent about $232,000. Combined with his previous fundraising, Morse has $999,000 cash on hand.

Compare that with former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who reported raising more than $1.5 million in the previous six months, giving her more than $3.3 million cash on hand and a total raised of $4.2 million.

Leading in the polls and in fundraising, Ayotte is viewed as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. But Morse supporters say GOP primary voters aren’t in the mood to back an establishment moderate, and he just needs enough money to get his message to the base.

Ayotte backers say that until Morse shows he has the resources to reach those voters with a message that penetrates, nothing changes.

“Let’s face it: Netting $150,000 over six months trying to compete in this race ain’t gonna do it,” one New Hampshire GOP source told NHJournal.

And then there’s the issue of the filing. Morse campaign sources insisted last week they did not have a legal duty to file on June 19, though the campaign committees for the three other major candidates for governor in both parties complied with the deadline. The Morse campaign didn’t state explicitly why it believed it was exempt, and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office didn’t agree.

“All gubernatorial candidates’ campaigns were to file a campaign finance report last week,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.