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 McConnellLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash Phase-four virus relief hits a wall 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 McSallyGraham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill Trump considering suspending funding to WHO Campaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis 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 GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race Progressive challenger: How we overcame Chuck Schumer meddling MORE (D) raised $2.7 million for his campaign against Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerGOP senator calls for investigation into 'mismanagement' of strategic ventilators Romney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Senate GOP super PAC books more than million in fall ads MORE (R), who pulled in $1.6 million; Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) raised $3.2 million compared to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE’s (R) $2 million; and in Michigan, Republican John James raised $3.4 million, outpacing the $2.3 million Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersGOP challenger outraises Michigan's Sen. Peters in first quarter The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Senate Democrats propose ,000 hazard-pay plan for essential workers 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 ErnstCampaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Politics and the pandemic — Republicans are rightly worried Ernst calls for public presidential campaign funds to go to masks, protective equipment 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 RobertsCoronavirus stimulus talks hit setback as crisis deepens Garth Brooks accepts Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song GOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats 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. MarshallOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump Senate Democrats outraise Republicans, but GOP has cash edge 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 TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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 SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Guidance on masks is coming The Hill's Campaign Report: Coronavirus forces Democrats to postpone convention Roy Moore to advise Louisiana pastor arrested for allegedly defying ban on large gatherings 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 ByrneSessions to face Tuberville in Alabama GOP Senate runoff This week: House eyes vote on emergency coronavirus funding The 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday 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 LoefflerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Georgia senator bought stock in personal protective equipment maker amid coronavirus crisis: report Internal Collins poll suggests he holds huge lead over incumbent Sen. Loeffler in Georgia special election MORE (R) will face off with Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Internal Collins poll suggests he holds huge lead over incumbent Sen. Loeffler in Georgia special election Sunday shows preview: As coronavirus spreads in the U.S., officials from each sector of public life weigh in 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 TillisNorth Carolina Senate race emerges as 2020 bellwether The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus 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.