Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Ky.) slightly edged his Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in fundraising during the final quarter of 2013.
The GOP leader raised $2.22 million in the final three months of 2013, while Lundergan Grimes raised $2.1 million, their campaigns both announced Friday.
But Lundergan Grimes’ showing still puts her among the top Democratic fundraisers this cycle — she’s outraised nearly every Democratic candidate and incumbent senator that has released their numbers thus far.
And McConnell has a considerably higher burn rate than Lundergan Grimes at this point in the cycle — likely due in part to the fact that he’s fending off a challenge from both his left and right flanks.
McConnell now has $10.9 million cash on hand, about a million more than he posted at the end of October.
Lundergan Grimes still only has a third of the money McConnell has in the bank, with $3.5 million cash on hand, but that's an uptick from the $2 million she posted at the end of October.
While McConnell’s campaign spent a majority of the money he raised last cycle, Lundergan Grimes banked most of hers. If that trend continues, it could further eat into McConnell’s fundraising lead.
McConnell's GOP primary challenger, businessman Matt Bevin, raised $900,000 in the fourth quarter.
Democrats are looking to the Kentucky Senate race as a premiere pickup opportunity in a cycle that offers few chances for offense for the party. They believe McConnell's low popularity in his home state will be his undoing.
But McConnell has already had support from deep-pocketed outside groups in the race, and his own campaign coffers will make him difficult to beat in November, if he makes it through his primary.