Senate Dems tout 'best February' of off-year fundraising

Senate Democrats had a second strong fundraising month in 2011 as the party looks to build a firewall around its thin majority.

After raising $2.63 million in January, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday revealed that it pulled in $3.43 million last month. That "haul is more than any Senate campaign committee has ever raised at this point in the election cycle," according to a DSCC release.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee raised slightly less, bringing in $3.34 million, according to its latest Federal Election Commission filing. The NRSC's cash reserve is running low -- it reported having $868,000 in the bank -- but it has less debt than its Democratic counterpart.

The DSCC ended the month with $5.1 million cash on hand — almost double the total it reported last month. The committee spent $1 million in February, and its debt remained virtually untouched at $8.6 million. The NRSC, meanwhile, is carrying $5.3 million in debt having paid down some $1.2 million since its last report.

Democrats said they're on track for a record haul this cycle.

"This is the strongest fundraising effort ever by any Senate campaign committee at this point in the election cycle," Guy Cecil, executive director of the DSCC, said in a statement.

"We are ahead of our goals and we are not letting up. Not only will we have the resources to preserve Democratic seats, we will also have the organization and funding we need to win in Republican-held seats."

--Updated at 1:06 p.m.