Democrats blow past GOP incumbents in Q2 fundraising

Democrats running in the most competitive Senate races blew past their Republican opponents in fundraising in the second quarter as a series of national crises dragged down President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s polling numbers.

Second-quarter campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission showed Democrats outraising Republicans in all but two of the 15 most competitive Senate races.

Together, Democrats pulled in a combined $102 million in the three-month period spanning April 1 through June 30, while Republicans raked in about $70 million.


Democrats are outraising Republicans at a time when Trump's poll numbers have taken a hit over his responses to the coronavirus and the protests on racial justice roiling the country.

The Republicans trailing their Democratic opponents in second-quarter fundraising include some of the most vulnerable incumbents of the 2020 election cycle. In a dozen Republican-held seats that Democrats are hoping to seriously contest this year, the challenger raised more than the incumbent in all but one.

In Arizona, for instance, former astronaut Mark Kelly took in nearly $12.8 million to Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump nominee's long road to Fed may be dead end McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol McSally's final floor speech: 'I gave it my all, and I left it all on the field' MORE’s (R) $9.3 million. McSally is among Democrats’ top targets this year, and polls show her trailing Kelly by considerable margins.

In Maine, state House Speaker Sara Gideon pulled in nearly $9.4 million over the quarter, more than twice as much as the $3.6 million raised by Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right MORE (R), another one of Democrats’ top targets in their bid for a Senate majority.

And even in GOP strongholds like South Carolina and Kentucky, Democratic candidates outraised some of the most best-funded Republicans in the country.


Jaime Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair, raised more than $14 million in the second quarter, outperforming Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSpokesperson says Tennessee Democrat made 'poor analogy' in saying South Carolina voters have extra chromosome Former Graham challenger Jaime Harrison launches political action committee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE (R-S.C.) by nearly $6 million. In Kentucky, former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath raked in a staggering $17.4 million to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellImmigration, executive action top Biden preview of first 100 days Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight McConnell pushed Trump to nominate Barrett on the night of Ginsburg's death: report MORE’s (R) $12.2 million.

Republicans’ electoral outlook in 2020 has darkened in recent months as Trump’s turbulent handling of the coronavirus pandemic and protests over racial injustice have caused his polling numbers to sag, both nationally and in critical battleground states.

In most cases, those GOP incumbents still have larger cash reserves, though that’s due in no small part to the fact that incumbents often have had more time to campaign and fundraise over the years.

In Colorado, for example, former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDemocrats frustrated, GOP jubilant in Senate fight Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  MORE raised $5.2 million the second quarter – about $1.6 million more than his opponent, Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerHillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure MORE (R-Colo.). But Gardner reported having about $10.7 million in cash on hand to Hickenlooper’s $4.6 million. 

McConnell ended the quarter with $16.6 million in the bank to McGrath’s $16.2 million, despite being outraised by more than $5 million. But McGrath also spent far more heavily than McConnell did in recent months, pumping millions of dollars into an unexpectedly competitive primary race against Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker and ultimately chipping away at her cash reserves heading into her general election campaign.


In addition to the Senate races in Arizona, Maine, South Carolina, Kentucky and Colorado, The Hill also examined fundraising disclosures from candidates in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Texas. In all but three of those states — Alabama, Michigan and Kansas — Republican incumbents are fending off challenges from Democrats.

Michigan and Texas were the only two states in which Republicans outraised Democrats. In Michigan, Republican John James brought in $6.4 million to Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersRepublican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE’s (D) $5.2 million. Meanwhile in Texas, Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R) raised nearly $3.5 million, while his Democratic opponent M.J. Hegar pulled in about $1.8 million.

Hegar only clinched the nomination in Texas this week after a months-long runoff race against state Sen. Royce West. On the other hand, Cornyn faced only nominal primary opposition.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate. Democrats will have to flip three or four seats to take control, depending on which party wins the White House in November.

But Sen. Doug Jones (D) is facing a tough reelection bid in Alabama and is in serious danger of losing his seat, meaning that Democrats would need to pick up a minimum of four seats elsewhere to capture a Senate majority.

Still, Republicans are defending a handful of competitive seats in states like Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina. In addition to those four, Democrats are also putting up serious challenges in states like Montana, Iowa and Texas. In every one of those states, with the exception of Texas, Democrats outraised the GOP incumbents.

Democrats have also become increasingly optimistic about their chances in Georgia, where a special election prompted by the retirement of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOssoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democrats press Facebook, Twitter on misinformation efforts ahead of Georgia runoff MORE (R) last year and a regularly scheduled Senate race have put both of the state’s seats into play.

Jon Ossoff, the Democrat challenging Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in the regular election, reported raising $3.9 million in the second quarter, outpacing the GOP incumbent by more than $1.7 million. Ossoff spent more than five times more than his opponent, however, largely due to the fact that he faced a June primary against several other Democrats, leaving Perdue with a massive $8 million cash on hand advantage.

In Georgia’s special election, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the top Democrat running for the seat, raised more from donations than any other candidate, reporting a second-quarter haul of about $2.9 million. But Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerHouse Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races Ossoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns Record number of ballots requested in Georgia runoff election MORE (R-Ga.), who was appointed late last year to fill Isakson’s seat and is largely self-funding her Senate bid, reported taking in more money overall after loaning her campaign $5 million on June 25.

--Updated at 3:33 p.m.