Campaign

Senate GOP campaign arm posts $23 million fundraising haul in first quarter

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised more than $23 million in the first quarter of the year, it announced on Tuesday. 

The group pulled in more than $8.3 million in March alone, it said, topping the $6.4 million it raised in February. At the same time, the NRSC said it paid off the remainder of its debt - about $5.4 million, according to the group's most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission - and ultimately entered the second quarter of 2021 with $12.3 million in the bank.

"We're combining a robust digital fundraising operation with a national network of bundlers who are committed to helping us raise money and win back the Senate," Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the NRSC's chairman, said in a statement. 

The $23.1 million first-quarter haul exceeds that committee's fundraising during the same period in both 2017 and 2019, suggesting that the NRSC's finances haven't suffered since dozens of corporations pledged earlier this year to cut off financial support to lawmakers who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results - a group that includes Scott.

Republicans need to gain only one seat in the Senate next year to recapture a majority in the upper chamber.

But the GOP also faces a more difficult electoral map than Democrats do. Republicans are defending 20 seats to Democrats' 14. At the same time, five GOP incumbents have announced retirement plans ahead of 2022, meaning Republicans will have to defend seats in battleground states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania. 

Democrats are facing some looming fights of their own, especially in Georgia and Arizona, where newly elected Democratic senators are considered top targets for Republicans next year.

The NRSC's Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has not yet said how much it raised in the first quarter of 2021. Campaigns and committees are required to file their first-quarter financial reports with the FEC later this week. 

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