Key Dem senators raise big money ahead of tough reelection fights next year

A number of Democratic senators expected to face tough reelection campaigns during next year’s midterms have managed to raise large amounts of money as they fight to keep their seats in an evenly divided chamber which they control with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

According to Federal Election Commission figures on Friday, Democratic incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire have taken in millions more than their Republican challengers, giving them — so far — a monetary advantage that could play heavily to their favor during the coming campaign cycle.

“Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D), known for consistently raking in large fundraising hauls, took in over $8.1 million, finishing the first quarter with just over $13 million cash on hand,” The Hill reported Saturday, adding that his two GOP rivals, “Thiel Foundation President Blake Masters and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, raised $1 million and over $560,000, respectively.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia brought in one of the biggest quarterly fundraising hauls — $9.5 million — which gave him a total of $17.2 million in the bank, far more than his GOP rival, former NFL star Herschel Walker, who has raised more than $3.7 million and came into this month with nearly $2.5 million.

In Nevada, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto collected $3.2 million during the third quarter, adding to her $8.3 million campaign bank account. That compares with GOP challengers Adam Laxalt, former state attorney general, who raised $1.4 million in six weeks, and political vet Sam Brown, who took in $1 million.

Sen. Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire raised almost $3 million, finishing last month with nearly $6.5 million in the bank as GOP challenger Don Bolduc only raised about $60,000, though state Republicans are hoping to draft Gov. Chris Sununu to challenge Hassan.

“Those four races will be key to determining which party controls the Senate, which is currently divided at 50-50,” The Hill reported.

In 2020, President Biden won all four states, but he was the first Democrat to win in Georgia and Arizona since former President Bill Clinton, who won Georgia in 1992 and Arizona during his 1996 reelection.

But Democrats are also looking to pick up seats that are currently held by Republicans. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania respectively, Sens. Richard Burr and Pat Toomey are calling it quits, while Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has not yet said whether he plans to run again next year.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party nationally took in a record amount of money last quarter — $105 million — in its bid to flip the House next year as a number of Democrats are heading for the exits in the lower chamber.

While Democrats outraised Republicans by about $1.5 million, the Republican National Committee’s haul was the most ever for a single quarter.

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it had its best third quarter ever for an off-election year, taking in $38.5 million between July 1 and Sept. 30. Its latest haul included $14.5 million in September alone,” The Associated Press reported last week.

“That announcement came mere hours after the National Republican Congressional Committee called its nine-month haul a 74% increase over last cycle, noting that it raised $25.8 million just in the third quarter. The group said it now has $65 million cash on hand, nearly triple what it had at this time two years ago,” the AP added, noting that the RNC has slightly more cash on hand than the Democrats’ $63 million.

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Jon Dougherty

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