Washington (CNN) – It seems Mike Haridopolos is living up to his reputation as a strong fund-raiser.
The Florida state Senate president, who's running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, raised $2.6 million in the first three months this year, a source familiar with his fund-raising figures confirms to CNN.
That's more than Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who brought in about $2 million in the first quarter, according to an e-mail release Wednesday from his re-election campaign. Nelson's campaign also reports having between $4.5 million to $5 million cash on hand.
The two-term senator, who is up for re-election next year, got some help in his fund-raising efforts this past quarter from the nation's top Democrat, President Barack Obama. The president teamed up with Nelson for two events in Miami Beach, Florida, early last month.
In February Haridopolos announced he had locked in $1 million in contributions during a one-day event in January. His first-quarter figures were first reported earlier Wednesday by the website Politico.
Also running for the GOP Senate nomination is former Sen. George LeMieux, who announced his bid last week. Former state Rep. Adam Hasner is expected to run and has already announced an exploratory committee, which allows him to begin fund-raising.
Two of the top nonpartisan political handicappers consider the race competitive, with the Rothenberg Political Report characterizing the contest as "Toss-up/Tilt Democrat" and the Cook Political Report calling the race "Lean Democrat."
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, 47 percent of Florida voters approved of the job Nelson's doing as senator, with 26 percent disapproving and 27 percent unsure. The same survey indicated that 43 percent of voters say Nelson deserves re-election, with 35 percent saying he does not deserve another term, and just over one in five unsure.
In a hypothetical general election matchup, the poll indicates that 43 percent would vote for Nelson, 39 percent for an unnamed GOP challenger and 18 percent saying they were unsure or it depended on who would be the Republican nominee.
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