Lundergan Grimes outraises McConnell

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes outraised Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the first fundraising quarter of her campaign, bringing in $2.5 million from July through September.

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McConnell raised $2.3 million during that same period, which his campaign said was his strongest fundraising quarter ever. The incumbent now has $10 million cash on hand, while Lundergan Grimes has nearly $2 million cash in the bank.

The Kentucky Senate race is Democrats' best hope for a 2014 pickup, and her third quarter tally demonstrates the extent to which she is already benefitting from the Democrats' national fundraising muscle. 

Lundergan Grimes received support from Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who has urged his network of fellow Democratic donors to support the Kentucky candidate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hosted a fundraiser for Lundergan Grimes in Las Vegas. And she's tapping the connections of her father, Jerry Lundergan, who is a well-connected Democratic leader in Kentucky and has ties to Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's secretary of State, received contributions from more than 13,000 individual donors, more than double the nearly 6,000 that contributed to McConnell. 

More than 11,000 of those individual donations came in amounts of $50 or less, which the campaign said was evidence of a "solid grassroots foundation" for her Senate bid. She received contributions from all 120 Kentucky counties and all 50 states.

Campaign adviser Jonathan Hurst said the haul reflects the fact that voters are fed up with McConnell.

“The record-breaking showing speaks to the overwhelming grassroots momentum behind Alison’s campaign and the fact that people across the political spectrum are tired of Mitch McConnell’s out-of-touch, failed leadership. Simply put, McConnell is not receiving a passing grade from Kentucky or this nation,” he said in a statement.

Republicans called the haul "well under expectations," noting Lundergan Grimes has had Hollywood help and support from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) prolific fundraising team.

Updated at 11:13 a.m.