SPONSORED:

Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge

Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge
© istock
Democratic candidates running in the most competitive Senate contests around the country raised a combined $5 million more than their Republican counterparts, but the Republicans maintain a huge cash lead, thanks to several well-heeled incumbents who are sitting on massive war chests.
 
Across 12 states with 13 Senate seats up for election this year, 16 Democratic candidates raised a combined $32 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, new reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show. Eighteen Republican candidates running in those same races pulled in $27 million — a figure which includes a $5 million check written by a wealthy new senator intent on saving her seat from a GOP challenger.
 
But the reports also show that the 18 Republicans have a combined $96 million in the bank, led by huge sums collected by the top two Senate Republican leaders, while the 16 Democrats have a combined $57 million on hand.
 
The reports show 20 candidates in those most competitive races raised more than $1 million in the final three months of the year.
 
No candidate raised more than Amy McGrath (D), a retired Marine challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi gives White House 48-hour deadline for coronavirus stimulus deal MORE (R) in Kentucky. McGrath pulled in $6 million in the quarter, while McConnell managed to raise $3.8 million. However, McConnell maintains a $2 million cash advantage over his Democratic challenger, with $11.5 million in the bank.
 
Meanwhile in Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly pulled in just shy of $6 million, marking another quarter in which he outraised Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Republicans increasingly seek distance from Trump Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race MORE (R) by about $2 million. Kelly’s $13.6 million bank account leads McSally’s $7.7 million stockpile.
 
Three other challengers pulled in $1 million more than sitting senators: Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race Democrats see cash floodgates open ahead of Election Day MORE (D) raised $2.7 million for his campaign against Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race Exclusive: Poll shows Affordable Care Act challenge a liability for McConnell at home MORE (R), who pulled in $1.6 million; Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) raised $3.2 million compared to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Collins PAC donated hundreds of dollars to two candidates who support QAnon Republicans increasingly seek distance from Trump MORE’s (R) $2 million; and in Michigan, Republican John James raised $3.4 million, outpacing the $2.3 million Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersDemocrats introduce bill providing 0 million to protect schools from cyberattacks Exclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 MORE (D) raised.
 
In all three cases, though, the incumbent held a substantial cash lead: Gardner’s $7.7 million cash on hand and Collins’s $7.1 million are both more than double the amount Hickenlooper and Gideon have left over, while Peters holds $2 million more than James.
 
 
The new glimpse at candidate fundraising suggests some contentious races ahead, several in states that were not always seen as competitive.
 
Graham’s likely opponent, former state Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison, has built a $4.7 million bank account after raising $3.5 million over three months. Graham has more than twice as much on hand, and the advantage of a Republican state, but Harrison is proving an adept fundraiser.
 
Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war Trump hits road in scramble to shore up support from 2016 MORE (R-Iowa) reported $4.8 million in the bank at the end of the year as her leading Democratic challenger, real estate executive Theresa Greenfield, pulled in $1.6 million and held $2.1 million in reserve. Greenfield must get by Eddie Mauro, a wealthy insurance broker who has loaned his own campaign $1.75 million of his own money, in the June 2 primary before she gets a clean run at Ernst.
 
In Kansas, state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D) has cleared the field of her Democratic rivals and pulled in $1.1 million in her bid to win a seat held by retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate GOP's campaign arm releases first ad targeting Bollier in Kansas The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden hit campaign trail in Florida National Republicans will spend to defend Kansas Senate seat MORE (R). 
 
Bollier raised more than twice as much as her three leading Republican opponents combined, and those three Republicans — former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallKelly raises .7 million in third quarter for Arizona Senate bid Senate GOP's campaign arm releases first ad targeting Bollier in Kansas The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden hit campaign trail in Florida MORE and state Senate President Susan Wagle — must face off in an August primary. But Bollier faces historical currents: Kansas hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.
 
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) is perhaps the most vulnerable senator up for reelection this year, running in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE carried easily in 2016. But Jones hauled in $1.9 million, more than the three top Republicans who will fight it out for the right to face him in November. Jones has stockpiled a nearly $5.5 million war chest. 
 
Former Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House The Memo: Team Trump looks to Pence to steady ship in VP debate MORE (R) reported $2.5 million on hand in his campaign account just weeks after jumping back into the race for his old seat. Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneLawmakers grill Pentagon over Trump's Germany drawdown Bottom line Jerry Carl wins GOP Alabama runoff to replace Rep. Bradley Byrne MORE (R) has $2.2 million in the bank, and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville (R) has $1.5 million on hand after loaning himself $1 million. Those Republicans will clash in a March 3 primary ahead of a likely runoff to be held April 14.
 
Another Republican primary collision is coming in Georgia, where appointed Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerSunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Georgia gets Trump approval for Medicaid work requirements, partial expansion QAnon-promoter Marjorie Taylor Greene endorses Kelly Loeffler in Georgia Senate bid MORE (R) will face off with Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsJordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats QAnon-promoter Marjorie Taylor Greene endorses Kelly Loeffler in Georgia Senate bid Biden up by 7 points in Georgia: survey MORE (R), a member of Trump’s legal team in the impeachment trial. Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman, has already lent her campaign $5 million, and she is also on air with television spots introducing herself to Georgia voters. Collins, who only joined the race last week, brings $1.7 million from his House campaign account.
 
Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democrats see cash floodgates open ahead of Election Day Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war MORE (R-N.C.) outraised former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) and has built a $5 million bank account, the reports show. Cunningham, once the subject of quiet Democratic complaints about his slow fundraising, picked up the pace in the final quarter of the year to raise $1.6 million.
 
The National Republican Senatorial Committee reported Friday it held $20 million in cash reserves, just over $1 million more than the $18.7 million that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) had on hand. But the advantage is larger than it appears; the DSCC is still carrying $6.8 million in debt from the 2018 midterm elections.
 
Among the top outside groups that back Senate Democrats and Republicans, the Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC pulled in $61 million in 2019. Its top rival, the Senate Leadership Fund, reported raising $30.8 million over the same period. An affiliated nonprofit, One Nation, raised $35.5 million, though slightly different rules govern how that money must be spent.
 
Updated: Feb. 2 at 10:13 a.m.