6 takeaways on the midterm money race
Here’s a look at key takeaways from reports that candidates and political action committees filed late Friday with the Federal Election Commission:
Two of the most vulnerable Democratic senators on the ballot this year — Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Arizona’s Mark Kelly — have amassed some of the biggest campaign war chests of the cycle.
Warnock raised nearly $13.6 million in the January-March fundraising window — which his campaign touted as a new high for a Senate candidate in the first quarter of an election year.
In Arizona, Kelly reported raising $11.4 million in the first quarter and had $23.3 million in cash on hand on March 31 — far outpacing the field of Republicans vying to challenge him.
Two other vulnerable Democratic senators — Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire — also outraised their leading Republican challengers this quarter and ended March with bigger cash reserves.
Democratic challengers raise big sums
Even in less competitive Senate fights, Democratic challengers are pulling in big sums.
Demings brought in $10 million in the first quarter, while Rubio collected nearly $5.8 million in the same period. They each had roughly $13 million in the bank at the quarter’s end.
And in North Carolina, where Democrats are trying to pick up an open GOP-held seat in a state that twice backed Trump, Democrat Cheri Beasley outraised the top Republican candidates in the first quarter.
The former state Supreme Court chief justice took in more than $3.6 million and ended March with $5.1 million in unspent cash.
Budd and McCrory each raised about $1.1 million and ended the quarter with roughly $2 million apiece in available cash.
Self-funders seek edge in crowded GOP primaries
David McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, loaned his campaign nearly $7 million in the first quarter — more than any other candidate.
One of his chief rivals in the Republican primary, former TV personality Mehmet Oz, plowed nearly $6 million into his campaign over the same period, filings show.
Deep-pocketed Republican candidates in other states also are making big bets on their candidacies. In Ohio, for instance, millionaire investment banker Mike Gibbons loaned his campaign $5 million in the first quarter.
Vance loaned his campaign $600,000 in late March, according to his FEC report.
Incumbents face off in West Virginia
But Mooney started April with more campaign cash stockpiled, $1.4 million to McKinley’s $1 million.
West Virginia lost one of its seats after the 2020 census.
During the first quarter, McKinley scored endorsements and donations from the state’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, who with his wife, Cathy, contributed $5,800.
The conservative powerhouse Club for Growth and the House Freedom Fund funneled donations to Mooney’s campaign in the first quarter.
Cheney bests Hageman, again
Trump, who called for ousting Cheney after she voted to impeach him last year, backs Hagerman.
But Cheney, one of the GOP’s most prominent Trump critics, set a new personal record during the first quarter, raising nearly $2.9 million. The third-term congresswoman had stockpiled $6.8 million in available cash to Hageman’s $1 million as of March 31, the filings show.
The Alaska GOP primary is also in August.
GOP billionaires make big bets in congressional fights
Super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited sums to shape election outcomes, are gearing up to help Republican candidates overcome any fundraising shortfalls ahead of the November general election.
Schwarzman also contributed $10 million to the House GOP-focused Congressional Leadership Fund.
Griffin donated $7.5 million to the House GOP super PAC and sent $2.5 million to Honor Pennsylvania — a super PAC working to boost McCormick in the Keystone State, Friday’s filings show.
Key super PACs for Democrats and Republicans file their public reports on different schedules, but the latest filings indicate Republicans will have big cash advantages.
Senate Leadership Fund and Congressional Leadership Fund reported a combined $165.7 million in cash on hand at the end of March. House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, their Democratic counterparts, reported a combined $82.4 million on hand at the end of February.
Quoted from Various Sources
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