CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: Money March Madness

The first fundraising quarter of 2014 ends at midnight tonight, as the thousands of emails begging for cash in every politico’s inbox have made sure to remind us. 

The first quarter poses some big tests for candidates. It’s the first full fundraising quarter for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) after he decided to run for reelection, for instance, and a chance to show that his campaign is in fighting mode after he brought in just $350,000 in the last three months of 2013. 

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It’s also the final chance for GOP Senate candidates in Georgia and North Carolina to pull in the cash needed ahead of their May primaries. In Georgia, a big question will be whether any of the other candidates pull in the money to compete with Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and self-funding businessman David Perdue (R) in Atlanta’s expensive media market. In North Carolina, it remains to be seen whether any of state House Speaker Thom Tillis’s (R) primary opponents will have the funds to compete on the air against him.

A number of Senate Democrats have also been forced on the air to push back against heavy ad spending from Americans for Prosperity. It’ll interesting to see whether they were able to grow their campaign war chests in a big way, or whether being forced to spend early forced to spend early could cost them airtime down the line.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

NE-SEN (OPEN): Nebraska GOP Senate candidate Shane Osborn raised more than $550,000 in the first quarter of the year, his best fundraising showing yet, and has $660,000 cash on hand. His main opponent, Midland University President Ben Sasse, has not yet released his numbers.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) primary challenger, Matt Bevin, blasted McConnell in a new ad for supporting a debt-limit increase and launching “false attack ads.”

IA-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) apparently knew the cameras were rolling when he called Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” 

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

CLYBURN CALLS WHITE HOUSE FOR HELP: Assistant Democratic House Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday the White House needs to do more to help House Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. Clyburn said he wants to see the White House helping out more with on-the-ground organization and that perhaps President Obama’s advocacy arm, Organizing for Action, should work to give Democrats in tough races a boost. He said he’s going to phone Obama to ask for help.

NC-7 (OPEN): North Carolina state Rep. David Rouzer (R) is out with his first ad ahead of a GOP primary for retiring Rep. Mike McIntyre’s (D-N.C.) heavily Republican seat. “We’ve got one more chance to turn it around and that chance is right now. Let’s take our country back,” he says in the ad. 

NJ-1 (OPEN): Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and broadcaster Garry Cobb has launched a campaign for resigned Rep. Rob Andrews’s (D-N.J.) seat, joining one other Republican in the primary for the Democratic-leaning district. He told the Philadelphia CBS affiliate that he wants to show people he “cares,” a problem he says plagues Republicans.

PA-13 (OPEN): Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) in his crowded primary to replace Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), putting him at odds with the Clintons, who are backing former Rep. Marjorie Margolies (D-Pa.), whose son is married to their daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

 

2016 WATCH

J STREET JABS CHRISTIE FOR APOLOGY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got snared in controversy when he described the West Bank as “occupied territories” to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership meeting over the weekend in Las Vegas. He apologized for the comments, but now faces backlash from pro-Israel advocacy group J Street, which told him not to “kowtow” to extremists by apologizing.