State Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) announced his U.S. Senate GOP primary campaign raised $750,000 in the first quarter of 2022, putting him in the lead among the three candidates.

Former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith raised $410,000, while retired Gen. Don Bolduc — who also ran in the 2020 GOP U.S. Senate primary — says his number will be “just north of $100,000.”

A fourth candidate, Bitcoin millionaire Bruce Fenton, entered the race March 31.

“The $750,000 haul is more than any Republican candidate has ever raised in their first quarter as a candidate,” the campaign said in a statement.

“The response from new supporters across New Hampshire has been overwhelming and humbling,” Morse said. “My campaign continues to fundraise and organize throughout New Hampshire to take on Maggie Hassan, and we are positioning ourselves as the only Republican campaign running that will have the resources and organization necessary to win this fall.”

“I’ve worked on campaigns in New Hampshire since 1978 and this is the largest, most diverse fundraising network that a first-time candidate for statewide office has ever put together,” added Dave Carney, Morse’s campaign strategist.

Sen. Maggie Hassan reported raising $4.3 million in the first quarter and had $7.5 million cash on hand. According to her campaign, it is the most money ever raised by a New Hampshire candidate in this quarter of an election cycle, and the third-highest quarterly haul in state history.

However, the money raised by the candidates is certain to be dwarfed by money from the parties and outside groups. For example, the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced it has raised a record $43 million in the first quarter and has $44.1 million cash on hand. More significantly, it had a record March ($13.3 million) as President Joe Biden’s fading poll numbers drive up enthusiasm among GOP donors.

And Republican National Committee (RNC) announced it raised $13.9 million in March, a record for that month during a non-presidential election year.

GOP strategist Patrick Griffin says money is not the issue for Hassan. It’s message.

“Money, as the late Paul Tsongas often said, is the mother’s milk of politics. But money can’t stop the fact that voters are living each and every day with issues that remind them of the unhappy state in which they are living,” Griffin said. “High gas prices, inflation, the world on the verge of war, COVID — these are issues that just won’t go away. To quote another political expert, Chico Marx: ‘Who ya gonna believe — me or your own eyes?’

“All the advertising and voter outreach in the world can’t change a bad narrative. Maggie Hassan will need a lot more than $7.5 million to make her and the Biden administration’s record palatable to the New Hampshire voting public. Swallowing the Democrats’ message right now is like trying to eat a brick sandwich: More Mayo!”

GOP strategist Tom Rath agrees. “This race is going to probably break all New Hampshire U.S. Senate race records. Both parties are going to have enough. And given the closeness of the fight to control the Senate, New Hampshire is still a relatively cheap date.”