Two little words raised millions for the candidates off South Carolina's 2nd Congressional District.
The brouhaha over the "you lie" outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) during President Barack Obama's health care address to Congress in September was a fund-raising boon to both Wilson and his Democratic opponent, Rob Miller, a Center for Responsive Politics review of Federal Election Commission filings show.
But Wilson still out-raised Miller during the third quarter by roughly $1 million.
Wilson raised $2.7 million between July 1 and Sept. 30. Roughly 98 percent of this sum came from individual donors. And more than three out of four dollars Wilson raised from individuals -- that is, about $2.1 million -- were from contributors who gave less than $200, the FEC's threshold for itemized disclosure.
Wilson also reported raising $58,000 from political action committees.
For his part, Miller raised a healthy $1.7 million during this period. This sum is nearly three times has much as he raised during his entire 2008 campaign against Wilson.
Small donors also accounted for the bulk of Miller's haul. More than four out of five dollars that Miller raised -- that is, $1.4 million - came from contributors who gave less than $200. He also raised $12,000 from PACs during the third quarter.
Miller ended the quarter with $1.64 million in his campaign war chest.
Each candidate has now raised more than the 2008 average for House candidates, the Center for Responsive Politics has found, and the race could be one of the most expensive seats in the country. They've already raised more money combined than some of the most expensive House races during the first half of this decade.
Stay tuned to the Capital Eye blog for more reports from the Center for Responsive Politics on third quarter campaign finance filings, check out our initial findings here, and dig into the profiles of all congressional races and members of Congress on our website too.