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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Democratic Advantage in Senate Fundraising

In Defying the Odds, we discuss campaign finance and campaign technologyThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Julie Bykowicz and  Lindsay Wise at WSJ:
Republicans are sounding alarms after Democratic Senate candidates outraised their GOP opponents in the first six months of the year, a gulf driven largely by small-dollar online contributions.
Democratic candidates in the 11 most competitive Senate races collectively raised $67.3 million in the second quarter of the year, $20.5 million more than their Republican counterparts, according to fundraising reports filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. The total includes two Republicans who gave almost $6.5 million to their own campaigns. Democrats in those battleground states—which include Arizona and North Carolina—also raised more than Republicans in the first three months of the year.

The fundraising filings covering April to June also underscore Democrats’ advantage over the Republicans when it comes to donors giving small amounts online—a vital source of campaign cash since the coronavirus pandemic shut down most in-person fundraisers. Small donors are defined in FEC filings as those who contribute $200 or less.
GOP strategists called the fundraising gap an urgent problem, as Senate Republicans facing re-election this year see their polling numbers dip in important battleground states. And they warn it could harm Republicans’ prospects in elections long after 2020.

“It’s a serious fundraising disparity that jeopardizes our Senate majority, and Republican senators need to wake up and develop a small-dollar program or they’ll be out of a job,” said Michael Duncan, a Republican digital strategist who works with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign.
“We’re scared to death by what we see,” another Senate GOP strategist said.
Sam Brodey and Lachlan Markay at The Daily Beast:
The senators who were handily outraised by their Democratic challengers include some of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents in must-win states for Democrats, such as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.
But some of Democrats’ top fundraisers in the second quarter came in states that, if they flipped from Republican control, would portend a wave election. In Kentucky, former Marine pilot Amy McGrath raised a staggering $17.4 million in the second quarter for her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The state is considered a likely Republican hold, and McConnell posted huge numbers of his own, with $12.2 million raised. But going into the final stretch, McGrath has virtually eliminated McConnell’s cash advantage; she’s now sitting on $16.2 million to McConnell’s $16.6 million.