McConnell raises $2.4M, but spending heavily

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reported his best reelection fundraising quarter yet, bringing in $2.4 million in the first three months of the year.

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But the campaign spent more than it raised — McConnell’s cash on hand total at the end of March was $10.4 million, more than $500,000 less than what he posted at the start of the year.

The McConnell campaign told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the heavy spending came from an early investment in “ground-game infrastructure that will help deliver unprecedented voter contact in Kentucky,” as well as a significant ad buy — a reported $840,000 — backing a spot that featured a cancer survivor touting McConnell’s work securing benefits for him and others like him.

McConnell has raised more than $2 million for four consecutive quarters, bringing in $22.3 million overall this cycle.

His likely Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, outraised him in her first quarter in the race and nearly paced him in fundraising last quarter. She hasn’t yet released her first-quarter numbers.

McConnell’s primary challenger, Matt Bevin, announced on Monday he raised $1.1 million in the first quarter, all of it from outside donations. McConnell is heavily favored in his primary, but is expected to face a serious fight in the general election against Grimes due to his low popularity in the state. 

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