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Monday, February 26, 2024

Most Democrats dominate Senate fundraising, but tough year looms – Daily Freeman

Herb Jackson, Daniela Altimari, Mary Ellen McIntire, Niels Lesniewski | (TNS) CQ-Roll Call

Most Democratic incumbents and challengers in battleground Senate races raised more than opponents during the last three months of 2023 and had bigger bankrolls at the start of the year, new filings with the Federal Election Commission show.

Some races are still taking shape, however. In Wisconsin, Democratic incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin is effectively unchallenged, but that could change soon.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey was outraised by his likely Republican opponent but had more money on hand on Dec. 31. But like other endangered Democrats, Casey’s opponent has already put $1 million of his own money into the race and is expected to spend more. Outside committees also can be expected to layer more millions on top of what candidates spend, though they also pay much higher rates for TV advertising so the money doesn’t go as far.

The battlefield for Democrats to defend their slim 51-49 governing majority still tilts upward, especially after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III decided not to defend his seat, shifting the rating for that race to Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

Below is a rundown of key races, ranked by their Inside Elections rating, and what the latest reports covering the final three months of 2023 show.

Toss-up races

Arizona: Independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema maintains the largest war chest, with about $10.6 million on hand at the end of the quarter, but her meager fundraising of $595,000 is raising questions about whether she intends to run for reelection. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego raised more than $3.3 million in the quarter and has about $6.5 million on hand. Kari Lake, the most likely Republican candidate, brought in $2.1 million but has only about half that in the bank. Fellow Republican Mark Lamb, the Pinal County sheriff, raised about $265,000.

Montana: Democrat Jon Tester continues to outpace his Republican opponents. Tester brought in $5.5 million and had more than $11.2 million in the bank. Tim Sheehy, the preferred candidate of Senate Republican leadership, raised $2.4 million, though $450,000 came from the candidate himself. Sheehy, a co-founder and CEO of Belgrade, Mont.-based aerial firefighting company Bridger Aerospace, had $1.3 million on hand. Rep. Matt Rosendale, who has not officially entered the Senate race but is widely expected to run, raised just under $100,000 and had $1.6 million on hand.

Ohio: Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown brought in $6.6 million and had $14.6 million on hand at the end of the year, giving him the largest war chest of any of the battleground Democratic incumbents. Brown’s three Republican rivals continue to trail him in fundraising. State Sen. Matt Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians baseball team, raised $357,653 and had $4.8 million in the bank. Businessman Bernie Moreno raised $800,000 and had $2 million on hand and Secretary of State Frank LaRose raised $812,000 and had $771,000 on hand.

Tilt Democratic races

Nevada: Sen. Jacky Rosen, the Democratic incumbent, appears to be lapping the field in both fundraising and cash on hand. The Republican front-runner, veteran Sam Brown, raised over $1.8 million in the quarter, but his campaign has slightly less than that in the bank. Elsewhere on the GOP side, Jeff Gunter, who was ambassador to Iceland under former president Donald Trump, raised $215,000 while Jim Marchant, who previously ran for secretary of state and lost, raised $160,000.

Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania, Republican David McCormick, a former hedge fund manager who has consolidated party support in the state, outraised incumbent Casey, who is seeking a fourth term. McCormick raised $5.5 million in the fourth quarter, including $1 million of his own money. That was more than Casey’s $3.7 million haul, although Casey has more than double what McCormick has in the bank. Casey ended 2023 with $9.4 million on hand, while McCormick had $4.2 million.

Lean Democratic races

Michigan: Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin leads the money race against other Democrats and Republicans seeking to succeed retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Slotkin raised $2.8 million in the final three months of 2023 and had $6 million on hand at the end of the year. The other Democrats running, businessman Nasser Beydoun and actor Hill Harper, raised $457,424 and $303,185, respectively. Beydoun had $349,000 on hand and Harper had $154,000.

Among the Republicans running, former Rep. Mike Rogers, who has the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, raised $1 million and had $945,600 on hand at the end of December. Former Rep. Peter Meijer raised $508,000, including $107,000 of his own money. Sandy Pensler, a businessman who launched his campaign in December, raised the most of the Republicans running, $1.1 million, nearly all of which was from himself.

Wisconsin: Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin raised $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, bringing her total cash on hand to $8 million at the end of last year. Two Republicans are challenging her so far. Trempealeau County Board Supervisor Stacey Klein raised $20,000 and had $5,100 on hand, while Rejani Raveendran, a political newcomer, raised $2,500 and had $427 on hand. A Libertarian candidate, Phillip Anderson, raised $5,300, including $3,500 of his own money, and had $3,800 on hand.

The field is not yet set, however. Eric Hovde, a businessman who ran for Senate in 2012 and could contribute his own money to a campaign, could launch a campaign soon, as could Scott Mayor, another businessman. Also, former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has teased a potential bid.

Likely Democratic races

New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez’s fundraising dried up after his indictment in September, and two Democrats vying for his seat had almost equal bankrolls at the end of the year. Menendez took in $104,000 during the quarter, but $88,000 of it was from interest on funds that were already in his account, and the contributions he did get were offset by a nearly equal amount of refunds. He finished the quarter with $6.2 million.

Democratic Rep. Andy Kim and New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy, meanwhile, each had $2.7 million on hand on Dec. 31 as they prepare for a primary battle that may or many not include Menendez, who is set for trial in May. Republican Christine Serrano Glassner reported raising $266,000, $200,000 of which came from a personal loan.

Likely Republican race

Texas: In his quest to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Democratic Rep. Colin Allred raised $4.8 million and had about $10 million in the bank. Cruz raised $3.4 million and had about $6 million on hand. Democratic state Sen. Roland Gutierrez took in $433,425 during the quarter and had $314,632 in his account.

Solid Democratic open seats

California: When it comes to fundraising, Rep. Adam Schiff continues to crush his fellow California Democrats running for the state’s open Senate seat. Schiff raised $6.2 million and had nearly $35 million on hand. Rep. Katie Porter raised $3 million and had about $13 million on hand, and Rep. Barbara Lee raised about $1 million but had just $815,960 in her campaign account. Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball player and first-time candidate, raised $610,920 and had $308,160 on hand.

Delaware: Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester raised $1.1 million and had $2.3 million on hand at the end of 2023. Republican businessman Eric Hansen raised $45,000 and contributed $400,000 of his own money. He and ended 2023 with $422,000 on hand.

Maryland: Democratic Rep. David Trone, the Total Wine & More co-founder who has largely self-funded his House campaigns, gave his campaign $13.5 million in the final three months of 2023, nearly all of the $13.7 million he raised in that time. But he’s spending quickly too, and had just $455,000 on hand at the end of the year.

Angela Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s County executive also seeking the Democratic nomination, raised $1.8 million and had $3.1 million on hand at the end of December. On the Republican side, Robin Ficker raised $2.4 million, nearly all of it a personal loan, and had $2.2 million on hand at the end of the year. John Teichert raised $304,000 including $5,500 of his own money, and had $221,000 on hand at the end of the year.

Solid Republican open seats

Indiana: Republican Rep. Jim Banks has a fundraising edge in the race to succeed Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for governor. Banks brought in $909,000 and had about $3 million on hand at the end of the year. Democrat Marc Carmichael raised about $14,000 and had $51,000 on hand, including $1,000 of his own money.

Utah: In Utah’s race for the seat that Sen. Mitt Romney is giving up, Republican Brad Wilson, the former state House speaker, raised close to $300,000 and had about $2 million in his campaign account. Republican Rep. John Curtis raised $817,563 and had just over $1 million in the bank, and Republican Trent Staggs raised $255,072 and had just over $500,000.

West Virginia: West Virginia’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, raised $606,000 in his bid for Manchin’s seat, and had $1.2 million in the bank. His rival for the GOP nomination, Rep. Alex Mooney, reported raising $482,000 and had about $1.7 million at the close of the year.

Florida battle

Sen. Rick Scott’s race is rated Solid Republican, but the incumbent who narrowly won six years ago when he flipped the seat is not sitting back, and continued to put his own money into the campaign.

Of the $4.7 million in total receipts Scott reported in the fourth quarter, about $1.6 million came from donors while $3.1 million came from personal loans and contributions. Since he won the seat, Scott’s personal contributions and loans have totaled $7.7 million.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel Powell, a former House member vying to challenge Scott, reported total receipts of nearly $2.1 million donors, including $986,000 from people giving less than $200. She had $1.5 million on Dec. 31, while Scott had $3.2 million.

Democrat Stanley Campbell also put $1 million into his campaign for the nomination, and raised $22,000 from donors. He had $914,000 at the end of the quarter. Republican Keith Gross, who is challenging Scott in the primary, reported raising $373,000, nearly all of it from a personal loan, and had $64,000 on Dec. 31.


©2024 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Visit cqrollcall.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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