Senate races

Senate races

DSCC outraises NRSC by $3M in October

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) outraised its Republican counterpart by just over $3 million in the final month before the midterm elections.

The committee took in $17.4 million opposed to the $14.2 million raised by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). For the entire cycle, the DSCC outraised the NRSC $107.1 million to 92.9 million. DSCC Executive Director J.B. Poersch said Tuesday the fundraising advantage helped prevent a GOP wave from sweeping Democrats out of power in the Senate like it did in the House.

“We were able to beat back Republicans this year because of the strong support from Democrats around the country," Poersch said in a statement. "In state after state, as Republicans nominated extremist candidates, our supporters became more energized. Senate Democrats exceeded expectations this year because we had better candidates with the resources they needed running aggressive campaigns."

Republicans made a net gain of six seats on Democrats in the Senate, diminishing their majority but falling short of taking control of the upper chamber. Democrats will begin next year with a 53-47 majority, down from a 59-41 advantage.

NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was unanimously selected Tuesday to lead the committee for another two years, expressed confidence last month that the GOP could take the Senate in 2012, when Democrats have to defend 21 seats as opposed to 10 for the GOP. He also lauded GOP gains this cycle, including winning President Barack Obama's old Senate seat. 

"Two years ago, few would have imagined that Senate Republicans would win seven Democrat-held Senate seats, while successfully defending every single Republican Senate seat," Cornyn said in a statement Tuesday. "And over the last two years, we were successful in adding nearly 400,000 new, first-time donors to the NRSC, we strengthened relationships with our longtime supporters and ultimately raised over $100 million. In fact, just last month, the NRSC raised $14.2 million, which represented the highest monthly total since the passage of McCain-Feingold in 2002."



Monday's vote count in Alaska key for Miller

For Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, Monday's vote count in Alaska's Senate race is likely to determine whether he remains alive in his fight against Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) write-in effort.  

As of late Sunday, Murkowski was within 1,761 votes of Miller's total, but that number includes more than 7,000 write-in votes that the Miller campaign is challenging either due to incorrect spelling of Murkowski's name or an improperly completed ballot. 

The count continues Monday and the Murkowski campaign appears confident that it can overtake Miller's total, making the number of disputed write-in votes key. 

As it stands now, Miller retains a lead in the undisputed vote total with 87,517 votes to Murkowski's 78,697. But once the more than 7,000 challenged ballots are counted, Murkowski is within 1,761 votes of that total.  

The tally of write-in ballots has gone heavily in Murkowski's favor over the past several days with close to 90 percent of write-ins being counted, unchallenged, for the incumbent. That's right around the percentage her campaign predicted it would need to win in order to emerge from the write-in count with certain victory. 

There are still thousands of write-in ballots to be counted along with some 8,500 absentees, which will be counted this week.

If the number of disputed ballots ends up making the difference for Murkowski over Miller, expect the Republican nominee to forge ahead with a legal challenge — an attempt to have those ballots thrown out. 

Murkowski's campaign is billing Monday's count as the end of the line for Miller if the numbers keep trending in her direction. A Murkowski spokesman said late Sunday that their projections have the incumbent ending the count with a margin of "several thousand votes."


Miller: Palin PAC donated to recount fund

Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller said Thursday he received a contribution to his recount fund from Sarah Palin's political action committee. 

Miller told the ABC News webcast "Top Line" that SarahPAC contributed an unspecified amount to the fund on Wednesday and that the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $20,000 to generally assist his efforts. 

The GOP nominee presumably trails incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who launched an independent write-in bid to remain in the Senate. 

Miller has sued to prevent Alaska election officials from counting ballots that misspell Murkowski's last name, a decision that came after Tea Party-backed candidate was shown to have made up ground on the write-in ballots cast. 

The donation comes after grumbling that the former GOP Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee had distanced herself from Miller, whom she endorsed in the primary against her rival Murkowski, after he came away from Election Day with less votes than the write-in candidates.

The fund's website says it has so far raised $146,000 for the recount.

This post was updated at 1:37 p.m.