Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge

Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge
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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 McConnellTrump has talked to associates about forming new political party: report McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment 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 McSallyCindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed 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 HickenlooperSenate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Democrats frustrated, GOP jubilant in Senate fight Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night MORE (D) raised $2.7 million for his campaign against Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R), who pulled in $1.6 million; Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) raised $3.2 million compared to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Memo: Biden prepares for sea of challenges Biden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party MORE’s (R) $2 million; and in Michigan, Republican John James raised $3.4 million, outpacing the $2.3 million Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersTwo Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots US government caught blindsided over sophisticated cyber hack, experts say Krebs emphasizes security of election as senators butt heads 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 ErnstGOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Military survivors of child sex abuse deserve more 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 swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal Trump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback 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. MarshallGOP at crossroads after Capitol siege Here are the companies suspending political contributions following the Capitol riots Hallmark PAC asks Hawley, Marshall to return employee donations 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 TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports 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 to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds 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 ByrneLobbying world Lawmakers grill Pentagon over Trump's Germany drawdown Bottom line 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 LoefflerJustice Dept. closes insider trading case against Burr without charges Warnock, Ossoff to be sworn into Senate Wednesday afternoon Georgia secretary of state certifies Warnock, Ossoff victories in Senate runoffs MORE (R) will face off with Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDrudge congratulates Warnock, says Ann Coulter should have been GOP candidate Warnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia Senate runoff Warnock says he needs to win 'by comfortable margin' because 'funny things go on' 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 TillisDemocrats see Georgia as model for success across South McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 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.