The latest campaign finance disclosure reports show Blunt's campaign has raised almost $3 million during the final quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007, bringing his cash on hand for the 2008 election to over $4.5 million.
Jay Nixon's campaign reports raising about $1.3 million in the last two quarters, with a little over $1.9 million on hand.
These numbers are significantly higher than those in the past, in part, because of a bill that was passed by the legislature last year that removed maximum contribution limits for most statewide elected offices.
The bill was signed by Governor Blunt after it passed through the Missouri House almost solely along party lines, with only four Republicans voting against the bill.
Following the announcement of first-quarter fund raising totals last week, House Democratic leadership issued a press release entitled, "Contribution free-for-all shows need for campaign limits" in which they state that the elimination of contribution caps has already had a negative impact on statewide elections.
A signer of that press release, Rep. Paul LeVota. D-Jackson County, has proposed a bill in this year's assembly that would reinstate the cap on financial contributions in statewide elections. Under LeVota's proposal, $1200 would be the limit for contributions in Missouri gubernatorial races.
"The problem is that the people in the state have asked us limit how much money we have in the political system," LeVota said. "And the legislature and the Governor have completely ignored that request and they got rid of campaign limits."
The sponsor of last year's passed legislation House Ethics Chairman Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles and the House GOP leader, said that while his bill has resulted in an increase in contributions to specific candidates, it hasn't resulted in a flood of unregulated money.
"What you're seeing is more money going directly to candidates and less to political parties," Dempsey said.
During a similar stage in fund raising in 2003, Matt Blunt the candidate only raised $728,923, while Democratic Governor Bob Holden had raised almost $1.2 million and Blunt's eventual gubernatorial opponent, Claire McCaskill, had only raised a little more than $270,000.