Democratic challenger to McConnell raises $2.5 million on first day of campaign

Amy McGrath, a Democratic challenger for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments GOP senators worry Trump made 'problematic' concessions in trade deal MORE's (R-Ky.) seat in 2020, raised $2.5 million on the first day of her campaign.

McGrath's campaign told NBC News that more than $1 million came in in the first 5 1/2 hours after the campaign launched on Tuesday.

McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas told NBC News that the $2.5 million haul came from online donations, with the average contribution being $36.15. 

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Nickolas said that the amount raised was the largest for the first 24 hours of a Senate campaign. 

McGrath, who previously lost a congressional a bid in 2018, announced her candidacy for the Senate in a three-minute campaign video. 

She was one of the most closely watched Democratic House contenders in the 2018 midterm elections, narrowly losing her race to incumbent Rep. Andy Barr (R) in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.

The fundraising haul comes on the heels of a series of strong second-quarter fundraising numbers from Democrats looking to unseat incumbent Senate Republicans. 

Sen. Susan Collins's (R-Maine) challenger, state Speaker Sara Gideon (D), raised more than $1 million in the first week of her campaign, while Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, brought in $1.5 million since launching his campaign just a month ago. 

Democrat Mark Kelly, who is running to unseat Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Overnight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 Planned Parenthood targets GOP senators in seven-figure ad campaign MORE (R-Ariz.), raised $4.2 million in the second quarter, outpacing his first-quarter haul. 

McConnell is set on maintaining his party's control of the chamber, in which they have a 53-47 majority.

He won easily won reelection to his sixth term in 2014 by nearly 16 points.