Washington (CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist narrowly outraised rival Marco Rubio the past three months in their battle for the Republican senate nomination. But Crist maintains a wide lead over Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker, when it comes to campaign cash on hand.
The Crist Campaign announced Tuesday morning that they raised over $2 million in contributions for the fourth quarter of 2009, with just over $7.5 million cash on hand.
"We have received phenomenal and broad support from Florida voters," said Crist Campaign Manager Eric Eikenberg in a statement.
The Rubio campaign reported that it raised $1.75 million the past three months, with approximately $2 million in the bank.
"We're on pace in meeting our goals, and I am as confident as ever that we will have the resources to deliver our message and be successful," said Rubio in a statement.
The campaigns reporting of their cash figures comes just hours after the release of a Quinnipiac University poll that indicates that Rubio leads Crist 47 percent to 44 percent in the GOP primary matchup. Rubio's 3-point advantage is within the poll's sampling error, but regardless, this is a major change from last year, when Crist led Rubio by 15 points in October, 29 points in August, and 31 points in June, according to Quinnipiac surveys.
The senate seat once belonged to Republican Mel Martinez, who stepped down from office last September. Crist, in his capacity as governor of Florida, named former aide Greg Lemieux as the interim replacement.
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