Senate races

Senate races

DSCC outraises NRSC for May

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the fifth straight month in May, bringing in $5.6 million for the month to the NRSC's $3.9 million.

The DSCC also leads in cash on hand, with $28.3 in the bank to the NRSC's $23 million. But that edge will likely be negated by super-PAC spending, which Republican-affiliated groups are expected to dominate.

The two are fighting over a highly competitive Senate map: most observers expect the chamber to be narrowly divided after the next election.


Super-PAC plans to help McCaskill in tough Senate race

An outside-spending group is planning to back up Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) by jumping into the hotly contested Missouri Senate race.

The group, called "Heart of America," was officially registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on March 14, according to FEC documents.


DSCC raises $5.6 million in May

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee brought in $5.6 million in May and has $28.3 million cash on hand, they announced Wednesday.

{mosads}The total is a slight uptick from the $4.5 million they raised last month. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not yet released its May numbers. As of the end of April, the DSCC held a $25.7 million to $21.6 million cash advantage over the NRSC.


Poll: Tester, Rehberg race remains deadlocked

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) remain statistically tied in their Senate race, according to a new poll from the conservative Rasmussen Reports.

Rehberg leads Tester by 49 to 47 percent, according to the poll, the latest to show the race within the margin of error.

The candidates had their first public debate last weekend, both have been on the air for weeks, and outside groups have pummeled both of them for months with attack ads. But the race has remained essentially unchanged since the beginning — the majority of polls going back to last November have had the candidates within three percentage points of each other. The Hill rates the race a "tossup."

The automated poll of 500 likely voters was conducted on June 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Nebraska Republican up big over Bob Kerrey in internal poll

Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer (R) has a huge lead over former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), according to an internal poll released by her campaign.

In the poll she leads Kerrey by 58 to 33 percent. While internal polls are often skewed towards the candidate and should always be taken with a grain of salt, that's a big gap. There have been no recent nonpartisan polls of the race, although the conservative pollster Rasmussen had her with an 18-point lead in a mid-May poll.

The Hill rates the race as "likely Republican."


Gingrich campaign email touts Ted Cruz for Senate — but Newt staying neutral in primary

Newt Gingrich's campaign sent out an email touting former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz's (R) Senate campaign Tuesday afternoon — but Gingrich himself is staying neutral in the race, a spokesman told The Hill.

{mosads}Gingrich has been renting out his email list to outside vendors in order to help pay down his sizeable debt from the presidential campaign. This email comes from the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group backed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and has long been in Cruz's corner in his race against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R). The email describes Dewhurst a "deal-making moderate" and "not someone who should be elected to the U.S. Senate."

While the email says at the top that it "reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of the Newt 2012 campaign," the email does not say whether Gingrich agrees with the message or not. When asked if he was staying neutral in the race or if he agreed with his advertiser and backed Cruz, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond emailed back a quick reply: "Yes — neutral."

The email shows the tough position Gingrich is in: in order to help pay down his campaign debt, he's had to give up control of a prominent part of his brand.


FreedomWorks to endorse Mack in Florida

The Tea Party-affiliated group FreedomWorks will back Rep. Connie Mack's (R-Fla.) Senate campaign, according to the Tampa Bay Times, providing an additional lift to the congressman as he seeks to avoid having to do much to win the state's contested GOP primary.

Mack has announced he won't debate his primary opponents and said the primary is essentially over, angering some activists in the state. But the FreedomWorks backing is a sign that he's unlikely to face a serious grassroots uprising against him, allowing him to focus on catching up to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is favored to win reelection. The Hill rates the race "lean Democratic."

The group had originally backed state Rep. Adam Hasner (R) in the race, but he dropped out weeks ago to run instead for a House seat.


Brown agrees to Kennedy Institute debate on condition widow Vicki Kennedy stays neutral

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) said Monday that he would agree to a debate against challenger Elizabeth Warren at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, but only if the former senator's widow agreed to stay neutral in the November election.

The Brown campaign also asked that MSNBC, which prominently features liberal talk show hosts like Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton and Chris Matthews, be dropped as a sponsor of the contest.

“In order to proceed, we need to know that in keeping with the spirit of neutrality expressed in Vicki Kennedy’s letter that she will not endorse or otherwise get involved in this race,” Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, said in a letter to the institute.


Poll: Independent King up big in Maine Senate race

Former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) holds a huge lead over his Democratic and Republican opponents in Maine's open-seat Senate race, according to a new poll from WBUR.

King receives the backing of 50 percent of those polled, while Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) gets 23 percent support and state Rep. Cynthia Dill (D) gets 9 percent backing in the first poll conducted since the state's primary last week.

The former governor benefits from both name recognition and the positive feelings voters have for him. Sixty percent of voters have a positive opinion of King, according to the poll, while only 21 percent are negatively disposed towards him.