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Three takeaways as Democratic donors pour cash into fight for Senate

By 37ci3 Apr16,2024

Democrats face an uphill battle to retain control of the Senate, but new fundraising reports show they have an early cash advantage for the fight.

Fundraising has helped Democrats win tough races in recent years, with donors opening their wallets after Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential victory and a growing “green wave” to bolster Democratic candidates.

That green wave is building again, according to fundraising reports covering the first three months of the year filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

But it remains to be seen whether the money will carry Democrats to victory in a year where they’re holding out in some GOP-leaning states. Republicans only need a net gain of one or two seats, depending on which party wins the White House, to take control of the Senate because the vice president casts tie-breaking votes in the Senate.

Here are three takeaways from fundraising reports in Senate races Cook Political Report with Amy Walter competitive prices:

1. Democrats are raising money…

In 10 states with competitive Senate races, Democrats are raising millions of dollars ahead of November.

According to an NBC News analysis of candidates who raised more than $50,000 in the first quarter, Democrats in those 10 races ended the quarter with a combined $100 million in their campaign accounts — more than double the Republican candidates, who raised more than $42.5 million. million in hand.

Democrats finished the quarter with more money than their GOP rivals in all but one of the competitive races. Only Sen. Rick Scott of Florida had more money in his campaign account than his likely Democratic challenger, leading former Rep. Debbie Mukarsel-Powell by $1 million.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of two Democrats running for re-election in a state Trump won, finished the quarter with the largest war chest, bringing in $16 million. His GOP challenger, businessman Bernie Moreno, had $1.8 million in his account after winning a competitive primary last month.

Five other Democratic candidates ended the quarter with more than $10 million in their campaign accounts: Sens. Jackie Rosen of Nevada, John Tester of Montana, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and an incumbent: Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, who GOP Sen. Ted Cruz- collect big money online while fighting against a.

Democrats also outscored GOP rivals in every race except Wisconsin, where an $8 million loan to the campaign from wealthy businessman Eric Hovde boosted Baldwin’s fundraising tally, while Baldwin raised $5.4 million. All of Baldwin’s funds came from other donors.

2. … and Democrats are largely outscoring their GOP opponents

Not only have Democrats outperformed their GOP rivals and increased their cash reserves, but new reports show they now vastly outnumber their Republican rivals.

This early spending has helped Democrats in past election cycles as they try to identify themselves with voters early in the campaign and insulate themselves from future GOP attacks. But like other campaign finance trends, they offer no guarantees in terms of results.

In 10 battleground states, Democrats spent $65.7 million in the first quarter, while Republicans spent $30.3 million.

The two exceptions were in Wisconsin, where Hovde spent $3.7 million to Baldwin’s $3.2 million, and in Pennsylvania. There, Casey was narrowly edged out by former hedge fund manager David McCormick, with Republicans spending $3.3 million to Casey’s $3.2 million.

3. Wealthy candidates boost the GOP

Both Hovde and McCormick highlight another dynamic Republicans hope to use this year: wealthy candidates who can finance some of their campaigns themselves.

Eight GOP Senate candidates in competitive races, Including Hovde, they have loaned or donated more than $500,000 of their own money to their campaigns.

Some of the more prominent self-funders were Hovde, Moreno, and McCormick. Montana Republican Tim Sheehy, a top recruit, also loaned his campaign $500,000.

Nevada Republican Jeff Gunter, Michigan Republican Sandy Pensler and Maryland Republican Robin Ficker spent more than $500,000 of their own money as they ran in GOP primaries against candidates backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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By 37ci3

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