Senate GOP posts $35M quarter haul as candidates, Trump struggle

The Senate Republican campaign arm posted record-breaking fundraising totals for both the second quarter as well as for June as the party pushes to retain its majority in the upper chamber amid plummeting poll numbers for President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE and a cash infusion for Democratic Senate candidates.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) announced that it raised $35.6 million in the three-month period spanning April 1 through June 30, including $14 million in June. The NRSC also has $30.5 million in the bank.

The totals are the most raised both for the second quarter and for June in committee history and eclipse totals for the NRSC's Democratic counterpart. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced Friday that they raised $34 million in the second quarter and $13.6 million in June. The DSCC has $37.7 million in cash on hand.

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"Despite a challenging environment, Senator Young, Leader McConnell and the entire team at the NRSC continue to break every fundraising record on the books," NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt said in a statement, referring to NRSC Chairman Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate GOP eyes early exit Why the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-Ind.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes MORE (R-Ky.). "People understand how important a Republican controlled Senate is to our country’s recovery, and they’re responding to make sure campaigns have all the support they need this election season.”

The fundraising news comes despite rising Democratic optimism of their chances to retake the upper chamber in the fall. At present, Democrats need to win a net four seats to do so — three if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE defeats Trump in November.

While the NRSC held the financial edge, its candidates have not followed suit as the vast majority were outraised handily by their Democratic opponents. In 13 of the 15 most competitive races, Democrats outraised GOP incumbents and candidates, with Democratic candidates raising $102 million during the second quarter compared to only $70 million for Republicans.

For example, in two of the most prominent toss-up contests on the Senate map, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA head questions connection of climate change to natural disasters | Pebble Mine executives eye future expansion in recorded conversations | EPA questions science linking widely used pesticide to brain damage in children Liberal super PAC launches ads targeting vulnerable GOP senators over SCOTUS fight MORE (R-N.C.) were outraised by a combined $10.6 million in the second quarter. Collins, who raised $3.6 million, was outdone by Democrat Sara Gideon, who raised $9.4 million during the same period of time. The two are nearly equal in cash on hand.

In North Carolina, Democrat Cal Cunningham set a state record with his second quarter haul, taking in $7.4 million, while Tillis struggled mightily, pulling in only $2.6 million. Just like the Maine contest, the candidates have a similar amount in the bank. According to a recent CNBC-Change Research poll, Cunningham leads Tillis by 7 points.

Adding to the woes for the GOP is the president’s faltering political standing, which has helped put the party’s majority in peril as voters overwhelmingly disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has seen his polling nationally and in key battleground states take a sizable hit.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Sunday, Biden leads the president by 15 points with registered voters (55 percent to 40 percent) and 10 points with likely voters (54 percent to 44 percent). On the COVID-19 response, Biden holds a 20-point advantage (54 percent to 34 percent).