Jan 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats’ fundraising firewall

Q4 2021 fundraising by incumbent Democratic senators vs. leading Republican challengers
Data: Campaign press releases; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Individual Senate Democrats are heading toward this fall's midterms in a strong position, at least cash-wise — outraising their respective challengers in key states.

Why it matters: Many other metrics portend doom for the party. Raising lots of money, and the messaging it propels, is among the Democrats' best hope for protecting their vulnerable seats.

Driving the news: Monday was the final day for campaigns to file their 2021 fourth-quarter and yearly fundraising totals.

  • The candidate-by-candidate numbers will be key because the National Republican Senatorial Committee out-fundraised the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during 2021.
  • The NRSC raised $104.8 million to the DSCC's $91.2 million.

The details: Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who has a history of being a strong fundraiser, faces a crowded Republican primary field.

  • It includes businessman Jim Lamon; the state's attorney general, Mark Brnovich; and Thiel Capital executive Blake Masters. Lamon is primarily self-funded.
  • Last year, Masters outraised Brnovich, considered his closest primary rival, taking in $1.38 million.

New Hampshire's Senate primary field is still forming after Republican Gov. Chris Sununu declined the bid for national office.

But Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) broke a record, raising the most money in the fourth quarter by a Granite State Senate candidate during a non-election year.

  • She took in $3.1 million.

In Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) announced last week his campaign had raised $9.8 million during the last quarter of 2021.

  • That tally nearly doubled the $5.4 million his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, announced raising earlier the same day.

And in Nevada, former attorney general Adam Laxalt is the presumed GOP front-runner to take on Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in the general election.

  • Cortez Masto reported raising $3.3 million, while Laxalt said he'd raised $1.4 million.
  • Nonetheless, Nevada Republicans remain hopeful since Laxalt has managed to unite both wings of the GOP.
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