SPONSORED:

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats break fundraising records in Senate races

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats break fundraising records in Senate races
© Screenshot

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

 

ADVERTISEMENT

LEADING THE DAY:

Democrats in the most competitive Senate races pulled in campaign cash at historic levels in the third quarter of 2020. Not just one, but two candidates shattered the quarterly record previously set in 2018 by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) during his much-hyped (but ultimately unsuccessful) bid to oust Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base Senate Republicans offer constitutional amendment to block Supreme Court packing 10 bellwether counties that could signal where the election is headed MORE (R-Texas). 

Filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) posted on Thursday show the extent to which Democratic Senate challengers have overwhelmed their GOP opponents in the money race. We looked at 13 races in 12 states where Democrats are running for seats currently held by Republicans: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Democrats outraised their rivals in each of those races in the third quarter of the year, while Republicans on average burned through their campaign cash at a much faster rate. Here’s a look at some of the numbers:

 

 

A friendly reminder that fundraising doesn’t necessarily translate to victory. Just take a look at O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate run. Amy McGrath may have raised nearly $37 million in the third quarter, but she’s still facing strong headwinds in her bid against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress MORE (R-Ky.). And while Jaime Harrison raised a record-shattering $57 million and has largely closed his polling gap with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocratic Senate campaign arm outraises GOP counterpart in September Hug or heresy? The left's attack on Dianne Feinstein is a sad sign of our times Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (R-S.C.), he’s still running in a deeply conservative state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate in more than two decades.

Nevertheless, the Q3 fundraising hauls add to the monstrous wave of cash that has washed over Democrats this cycle. The party’s candidates and left-leaning groups raised nearly $1.5 billion through ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising clearinghouse, over the past three months. And just this week, former Vice President Biden announced that his campaign and affiliated groups had raised $383 million in September alone, besting President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE’s $248 million haul for the month.

ADVERTISEMENT



POLLING UPDATE:

Exclusive polling for you here from The Hill-Harris — Biden leads Trump in Pennsylvania and Michigan, but Florida is a toss-up heading into the homestretch.

Biden has built up a double-digit lead in Michigan, which Trump won narrowly in 2016. The race is closer in Pennsylvania, where Biden is ahead by 5 points. In Florida, which is always close, the candidates are knotted at 48 percent a piece.

The poll reveals some interesting dynamics that could shape the outcome on Nov. 3

The coronavirus is the top issue in all three states and voters believe Biden is better equipped to lead on the pandemic going forward. A majority of voters believe the economy is headed in the wrong direction, but it’s still a winning issue for Trump, albeit by smaller margins than he’s had in the past.

Biden is performing better than expected among seniors, independents and suburban voters. All of those groups broke for Trump in 2016.

But the intensity of support remains an advantage for Trump. Many of Biden’s supporters say they’re backing him because they oppose Trump, not because they want to cast a ballot for the Democratic nominee.

Get the full story HERE.

And we received some internal polling in a Pennsylvania swing district.

A survey conducted by Jamestown Associates on behalf of Republican Jim Bognet’s campaign finds him running close to Rep. Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats break fundraising records in Senate races Races heat up for House leadership posts Trump Jr. seeks to elect 'new blood' to Republican Party MORE (D-Penn.).

Cartwright is at 48 percent and Bognet is at 43, with 9 percent undecided. The poll has a 4 percentage point margin of error.

Bognet is viewed favorably by 34 percent, compared to 40 percent who view him unfavorably. Cartwright posts a positive 45-39 split.

The presidential ballot shows Biden with a narrow lead in the district, 48 to 46. Trump won the district by 10 points in 2016 but it swung to Democrats in 2018.

Fifty-one percent of voters say they believe their neighbors are voting for Trump. That’s one metric that some pollsters have used to try to smoke out so-called “shy” Trump voters, who are embarrassed to tell pollsters they support the president.

Cartwright’s campaign and the House Majority PAC have heavily outspent Bognet in the race, but Bognet’s campaign is hoping independents, who view him favorably by a 36-32 margin, will break his way on Election Day.

 

 

THE REVIEWS ARE IN 

Viewers are shelling out praise for NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie after she moderated last night’s presidential town hall with Trump. 

NBC faced criticism earlier this week for airing the town hall which aired at the same time as Biden’s ABC town hall, forcing many viewers to pick between the two. 

ADVERTISEMENT

But a number of critics are saying they were pleased with Guthrie’s performance, citing her ability to press the president on a number of topics including the coronavirus. 

At one point, the “Today” anchor even confronted Trump on his retweet of a post espousing a conspiracy theory about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, telling the president that he is not someone's "crazy uncle" who can retweet anything. 

However, not everyone was impressed with the network’s town hall. Trump’s supporters said Guthrie was too hard on the president and did not leave enough time for voter questions during the forum. 

Biden’s town hall, on the other hand was seen as a more low-key event, with Biden getting more time in his 90 minutes to answer questions from voters. 

Early ratings show that Biden’s town hall led Trump’s in terms of viewership. Biden drew 12.7 million viewers compared with Trump’s 10.4 million.  Final viewership tallies will be available later Friday, which will include numbers from NBC simulcasts on CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

 

READ MORE: 

Trump town hall moderator Guthrie's performance praised, slammed on Twitter, by The Hill’s Joe Concha 

Biden leads Trump in early ratings numbers from dueling towns halls, by The Hill’s Joe Concha