The Secretary of State Money Primary
Money is an important resource in an election. It’s so important in fact that until the votes are counted and the primary election results are in, political analysts often look at the amount of money candidates have raised and spent to measure how they’re doing in a campaign. Analysts will sometimes refer to this as a money primary. Statewide elections are won on Name ID and that requires cash for candidates that are not previously well known. Name ID is a fancy political term used to signal whether or not voters know your name. Here's the current state of the money raised and spent in the Secretary of State for both Democrats and Republican.
At first glance Devlin appears to have the advantage. He starts and ends with the most money. A closer look reveals he has raised and spent less than every candidate except Richardson (who entered the race last). That suggests Devlin is the least invested in the campaign at this point. He may be waiting to do his big push, but it's also possible he doesn't want to waste money running for Secretary of State if he's planning on dropping out.
Hoyle and Avakian have both demonstrated impressive fundraising, having both raised $200k this year. Avakian has spent half as much as Hoyle has, but has more cash on hand. I wouldn't be surprised if current polling showed a close race among the two.
On the GOP front Leiken has been spending as fast as he’s been taking it in. He's attempting to build up Name ID as quickly as possible to gain a primary advantage. Richardson comes in last in all categories, but probably started with some of the highest Name ID in the field after running for Governor in 2014. He announced his campaign a couple of months later than the other four candidates currently in the race. I expect he will start campaigning a lot harder after the first of the year.
To summarize, Avakian and Hoyle appear to be duking it out. Devlin is in a holding pattern of sorts. Leiken is working to raise his name ID and Richardson is off to a slow start.