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Data: FEC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The battle for control of the U.S. Senate has triggered unprecedented fundraising at the congressional level, with one Democratic candidate out-raising Al Gore in his presidential race just 20 years ago.

By the numbers: The top 10 Senate fundraisers in 2020 brought in more than double the money raised by the top 10 campaigns in 2018, raking in over $1 billion collectively, according to data filed with the Federal Election Commission by Dec. 24.

In Georgia, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, have collectively raised $446.7 million this election cycle.

  • That exceeds the 2018 total brought in by the top nine Senate candidates.
  • Ossoff and Warnock smashed fundraising records in the last reporting period, each receiving over $100 million in two months. The $140 million total raised by Ossoff this cycle exceeds Gore's tally from 2000.
  • This year's fundraising has been propelled by the closeness of the results on Election Day in November. If Democrats can win both runoffs Tuesday, they can gain a 50-50 split in the Senate and a future Vice President Kamala Harris will cast tie-breaking votes in their favor.

The big picture: In the 2000 presidential race, Gore raised $133 million himself; adjusted for inflation, that would equal $201 million today.

  • The overall total raised by Gore and George W. Bush would equate to $494 million in today's dollars, or less than half of the 2020 Senate totals.

The bottom line: While money matters, especially in races as close as the Georgia runoffs, remember that Jaime Harrison, Amy McGrath and Sara Gideon were some of 2020's biggest fundraisers.

  • The three Democrats soundly lost in their bids to unseat Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins, respectively.

Go deeper

McConnell defends filibuster: "You don’t destroy the Senate for fleeting advantage"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday condemned Democratic support for abolishing the legislative filibuster, arguing that it would create a "scorched-earth Senate."

Why it matters: Many Democrats are pushing to use their newfound majority to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed for major legislation, which would make it easier to pass progressive priorities. Resistance from Republicans and moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.) has made that unlikely.

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.