Politics

Senate Democrats from Bennet to Warnock release ‘blockbuster’ money ahead of midterms

The candidates are posting “blockbuster fundraising numbers,” as Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein put it – though in some cases they are spending money as fast as they can. receive it. Nonetheless, Democrats see it as a sign of momentum after the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade last month and an increase in their chances of retaining the Senate.

“It says excitement, I think it says people understand that it’s the United States Senate that confirms judges, especially in light of what’s happened,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow ( D-Mich.), leader of the No. 4 party.

In Georgia, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock raised $17.2 million in the second quarter, spending heavily on TV ads but ending with $22 million in hand and blunting the $6.2 million raised by Republican Herschel Walker. and the $7 million in cash available. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) announced second-quarter fundraising of $13.6 million and Sen. Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) raised more than $5 million as their opponents were facing off in the late GOP primaries. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) raised $7.5 million in the second quarter, her campaign announced Thursday morning.

JB Poersch, chairman of the Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC, attributed the numbers to “better messaging, better campaign operations, and better candidates who are focused on the needs of their states.”

Outside Republican groups, particularly the Fund for Senate Leadership and allied group One Nation, are trying to bridge the gap by flooding deep-pocketed senators like Warnock with attack ads. Senate Leadership Fund spokesman Jack Pandol said Democrats should spend their money to “invent a time machine and change their votes for reckless inflationary spending.” In the meantime, groups like ours will be there to relentlessly pursue Democrats who destroy the quality of life of their constituents. »

Ahead of Friday’s deadline for filing fundraising reports, fewer Republicans released their numbers. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has raised more than $7 million in his re-election bid, and next month’s crowded Democratic primary will determine who he faces in November. And in Washington, GOP hopeful Tiffany Smiley announced a $2.6 million haul with $3.5 million in cash. The first two primaries are just under three weeks away, and the race is closer than Democrats would like.

For tough race incumbents like Bennet, individual fundraising is essential, as contestants themselves get a lot more bang for their buck when buying ads compared to outside groups. And with the big-money groups focused on major battlegrounds in Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Democrats would like to see Bennet put O’Dea away with minimal help. so they can concentrate on much more difficult terrain.

Georgina Beven, spokeswoman for Bennet, said her campaign “is energized for the road ahead; Michael and his team work hard, taking nothing for granted. His campaign manager denounced O’Dea for spending “the first few days of the general election relaxing in his multimillion-dollar vacation home.”; O’Dea’s Campaign retort that “Bennet was in New York the Fourth of July weekend.”

O’Dea countered that, given rapidly rising inflation and the amount left-wing groups are spending trying to prop up his main far-right opponent, Bennet will need all the money he can. obtain.

“I beat them once and will beat them again,” O’Dea said in a statement. “We will also have a lot of resources in our campaign, but the only number that matters is 9.1% inflation.”

Bennet’s cash number could present the biggest challenge for O’Dea given that Election Day is only months away. O’Dea will need to raise funds quickly or pay his own to keep pace with Bennet, a former DSCC chairman.

In other places like Georgia and Pennsylvania, Republicans say Warnock and Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman are burning through their money at high rates, regardless of their fundraising big numbers. Fetterman raised $11 million last quarter and has $5.5 million at his disposal.

Citing Democratic candidate spending and their precarious fates on the map, Republican National Senate Committee spokesman Chris Hartline said “money matters, but candidates and issues matter more.”

And Democratic Senate candidates are fielding big numbers in states they are not favored to win at the moment. In Ohio, Rep. Tim Ryan has raised $9.1 million in the past three months, Florida Rep. Val Demings has raised $12.2 million, and in North Carolina, Cheri Beasley has raised 7.4. millions of dollars. In 2020, Democratic candidates also had huge fundraisers in places like South Carolina, Maine, and Alaska, only to lose badly in the general election.

“Their base (…) is energized by the Dobbs decision. So I guess it had at least something, if not a lot to do with it. But you know, those are the things in an election cycle that you don’t know about. you don’t have much control,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.). “It’s not how much you have but: have you had enough? And I think our candidates will have had enough.

Still, the Democrats’ fundraising is critically important as the party faces brutal national headwinds but still has a decent chance of retaining the Senate. Even though the polls show a waning Democratic brand, there’s no doubt the party will have the cash to try and thwart the midterm odds hanging against it and hold a majority.



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