Fundraising success gives Senate Dems financial leg up in 2014

Senate Democrats kept up their brisk fundraising pace in the second quarter, putting themselves in a strong financial position as they head into 2014.

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Several Democrats facing potentially tough reelection battles have raised more than $1 million in the last three months.

They include Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.), both of whom brought in around $2 million.

Others topping the $1 million mark include Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who brought in $1.7 million, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who raised $1.4 million, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who raised $1.3 million, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) who raised $1.2 million.

Democratsic candidates making first-time Senate bids posted big numbers as well. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) brought in $1.25 million while Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) raised $1 million. Both are expected to be their party’s nominees.

Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), two of the GOP’s top targets along with Landrieu and Hagan, have yet to report their fundraising totals.

Campaigns often delay reporting their quarterly fundraising numbers if they’re not very strong, but Begich waited until the last minute in the first three months of 2013, and still raised a respectable $950,000. 

It would be surprising if Pryor matches the $2 million haul he managed last quarter, as that was aided by a $1 million fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton.

The other candidates’ quarters put them in solid financial shape. 

Landrieu now has $4.9 million in the bank, while Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has $3.2 million cash on hand after a strong $1.1 million quarter. 

Franken now has $3 million in the bank — money that will come in handy, as his most likely opponent, businessman Mike McFadden (R), raised $700,000 in the first month of the campaign alone.

Some Republicans posted strong numbers as well. 

But in many states they’re starting off in a big hole against the Democrats they hope to topple.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leads his party with a $2.2 million quarter and a whopping $9.6 million in the bank, a huge head start against his newly announced opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D).

Iowa’s crowded GOP field has recently developed, and none of the candidates have had a full quarter to fundraise at this point. 

David Young (R), a former chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), brought in $150,000 in his first month in the race, while former Iowa U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker (R) raised $100,000 in the first two months of his campaign.

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who’s considering a run for Montana’s open Senate seat, raised $430,000. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), one of the three congressmen running for the Senate in Georgia, brought in $800,000.