Senate Democrats are $15M in debt

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee begins their quest to retake the Senate in 2016 with $15 million in operational debt and $1 million in the bank, according to new numbers through the end of December.

That's down from the $16.3 million in debt the DSCC carried shortly after the 2014 elections, and is slightly lower than the $15.8 million it started out with after the 2012 elections, though it's still one of the largest burdens the party has carried in decades.

That operational debt doesn't include a $5 million loan the organization took out to buy a house adjacent to its headquarters that it has leased for years and decided would make more financial sense to buy.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has yet to publicly release its numbers. The NRSC had $9 million in debt and $3 million cash on hand as of Nov. 24.

The DSCC raised $168 million for the 2014 election cycle, tens of millions more than the NRSC did, but Republican outside groups more than evened the score and the GOP picked up nine seats to win Senate control. Democrats are hopeful they can win back the Senate next year, when they're only defending 10 seats to Republicans' 24.