Monica Wehby raised just half of what incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley raised in second quarter

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Oregon,Campaign Finance,2014 Elections,Ashe Schow,Jeff Merkley,Monica Wehby

Pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby raised more than $955,000 for her Senate campaign in the second quarter, while incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., raised $1.8 million.

Republicans hoping Wehby could make Oregon competitive, including campaign spokesman Dean Petrone, said the candidate had a "strong quarter" and believes Wehby is "primed to unseat a weak freshman senator."

But Merkley has a $3.5 million war chest. Wehby has just $647,000 cash on hand.

What keeps Wehby competitive is recent ad buying by outside groups. Though Merkley has reserved $2 million from his war chest for TV ads, Wehby has received nearly $2 million for TV ads from the nonprofit Freedom Partners, a new super PAC backed by the Koch brothers.

Wehby's medical background may still prove to be a headache for Merkley, as Obamacare is not very popular in Oregon.

Merkley, however, continues to hold a double-digit lead over Wehby.

Update 3:45 p.m.: At this same point in 2008, Merkley had just $569,000 cash on hand (a difference of about $78,000). Merkley also had twice as much debt at this point in 2008 than Wehby ($349,000 for Merkley in 08 and $122,000 for Wehby now).

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