January a record month for DSCC fundraising

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart by nearly $2 million in January, bringing in a record-breaking $6.55 million last month.

The NRSC announced Tuesday it raised $4.62 million during the month, its third-best January haul in the past decade.

While the Republican committee picked up its fundraising pace and slightly edged the DSCC in December, the Democratic committee has typically outraised the NRSC and brought in $18 million more overall than the GOP committee this cycle.

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The DSCC is $2.5 million in the red, while the NRSC remains debt-free. But the DSCC had $15 million cash on hand at the end of January, compared to the NRSC’s $10 million, putting them at a slightly better cash advantage than the Republican committee at the outset of the midterm year.

Democrats will need to maintain that strong pace and that cash advantage to protect their six-seat — and increasingly fragile — majority in the Senate, however.

Polling has shown Democrats in a handful of crucial battleground seats either running even or slightly lagging their likely Republican challengers. In other seats seen as easier holds for the party, Republicans have managed to shrink the Democrats' lead.

Democrats admit that’s due, in part, to an onslaught of negative attacks, funded largely by a Koch brothers-affiliated group, focused on ObamaCare. The group, Americans for Prosperity, has spent an estimated $27 million since August on such attacks.

DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil contrasted the Koch’s attacks with what he sees as grassroots support for Democrats.

“The Koch brothers are spending a fraction of their personal fortune to buy a Senate that is good for them and bad for almost every other family in America,” Cecil said in a statement. “While Republicans can rely on the Koch brothers, we depend almost entirely on grassroots donors and thousands of generous people from around the country to make sure that we have a senate that works for the middle class.”

But he noted Democrats still face a struggle to turn their voters out for the midterms, when the party in the White House typically faces a decline in turnout, and when President Obama and his political machine won’t be attracting necessary constituencies out to vote.

To prevent a crippling decline in turnout, the DSCC is investing $60 million in a ground-game effort spread across 10 important states this cycle. Cecil hinted in his statement that donors need to continue to step up to help fund the project.

“There’s no question that the biggest challenge facing Democrats in the midterm is turnout, and we need our supporters to continue to step up so that we can provide our campaigns with cover on television and fund the most aggressive field efforts in history,” he said.