Senate races

Senate races

Baldwin tops $2 million in first quarter

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) raised more than $2 million in the past three months, a strong quarter for the Senate hopeful and nearly double the $1.1 million she raised last quarter.

Baldwin now has $2.8 million cash on hand, a strong war chest for this point in the year.

The Wisconsin congresswoman is a liberal darling, and earlier this year she held a major fundraiser with fellow liberal favorite Elizabeth Warren, who is running in Massachusetts. She also has the backing of the pro-abortion rights EMILY's List, a fundraising powerhouse.

One concern: Baldwin has been spending that money quickly — nearly $1 million in the last three months. Her campaign said much of that had gone into direct mail solicitation, a fundraising method that costs much but can bring in even bigger results, which seems to be the case here.

Baldwin will face the winner of the free-for-all Republican primary among former Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.), big-spending businessman Eric Hovde (R) and Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald (R).


Richard Carmona tops $800,000 in race for Kyl seat

Democrat Richard Carmona raised $800,000 in the first three months of 2012, his campaign announced Tuesday, leaving him with $1.1 million for his race for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's (R) seat in Arizona.

This was the first full fundraising quarter that Carmona was in the race, but in the last two months of 2011, his campaign brought in $570,000. The U.S. surgeon general who served under former President George W. Bush, Carmona is the only remaining Democrat in the race. Another Democrat, Don Bivens, dropped out in March.

{mosads}The two Republicans vying for Kyl's seat have not released their figures for January through March, which are due to the Federal Election Commission by April 15. But the front-runner for the GOP nomination, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), had almost $2.6 million in his war chest at the end of 2011. Businessman Wil Cardon, who is trailing far behind Flake in the polls, has loaned his campaign almost $1.3 million.

The Hill rates this race as leaning Republican.


Fundraising wrap-up: McCaskill, Dold post big quarters

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), two incumbents facing tough reelection campaigns, posted big fundraising quarters Tuesday. Here's Tuesday's fundraising wrap-up:

• McCaskill raised $2.3 million and had approximately $6 million on hand as of the end of March, a big improvement over the already strong $1.4 million she raised last quarter. She faces a tough race in the Republican-leaning state.

• Dold (R-Ill.) raised $600,000 and has $1.6 million cash on hand, strong numbers for the endangered incumbent. He's running in a Democratic-leaning suburban Chicago district where air time is expensive.

• Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) narrowly outraised Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) in a Republican-leaning district pitting the two against each other. Renacci maintains the cash edge with $1.2 million in the bank to Sutton's $750,000.


Club for Growth ads attack GOP front-runner in Nebraska

The Club for Growth is going up with ads attacking Nebraska state Attorney General Jon Bruning (R), adding to a recent bombardment on the airwaves as the state's Senate race heats up.

The television and radio ads by the fiscally conservative group accuse Bruning of concealing a habit of big spending. The Club for Growth said the final budget for the ads hasn't been determined, but that the television ad will air statewide on broadcast and cable.


Flake challenger drops another $250,000 on immigration ads

Businessman Wil Cardon is spending $250,000 to air television ads staking out his hard-line stance on immigration as he works toward the GOP nomination for Senate in Arizona.

A source tracking the ad market in Arizona said Cardon had purchased $208,000 in air time in Phoenix and another $56,000 in the cheaper market of Tucson, Ariz.

"Wil Cardon's immigration plan will fight Obama's war against Arizona's security and economy, supporting S.B. 1070, [and] national guard troops to secure the border," says the narrator.

The ad also notes Cardon's opposition to "amnesty for illegal immigrants" and to allowing children brought into the country illegally to qualify for in-state tuition.

Also included in the ad is the now-famous photograph of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wagging her finger at President Obama.

"By sticking to our principles and respecting the rule of law, we can end illegal immigration," Cardon says in the ad.


Maine Senate candidate asks for FEC permission to use federal contractor services 'pro bono'

A Senate candidate's campaign asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Monday if his campaign could use pro bono legal services from a federal contractor.

Angus King, the former independent governor of Maine, would like his campaign to use legal services provided by law firm Pierce Atwood (PA) for free. The candidate’s campaign treasurer submitted an advisory opinion request asking for “expedited” permission to use the firm’s legal services.

King is running for Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) open seat.


Deb Fischer launches first Senate ad in Nebraska

Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer (R) went on the air Monday with the first ad of her campaign for retiring Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) seat, touting her conservative credentials and Nebraska roots in a positive bio-spot.