First look: Joe O'Dea contributes half of $2 million Q2 fundraising haul
Joe O'Dea, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado, raised roughly $2 million in the second quarter of 2022 — $1 million of which he personally contributed, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: The political newcomer's self-funding is keeping his race competitive against Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet. The question is whether a broader stable of Republican donors will get on board with O'Dea in order to flip the seat, Axios Denver's John Franks notes.
- His campaign now has roughly $840,000 on hand as it gears up for the general election.
The big picture: Democratic groups spent around $10 million in an effort to boost O'Dea's far-right primary challenger Ron Hanks — painting O'Dea as GOP-lite in comparison — in the hopes of giving Bennet a weaker nominee to run against in November.
- But despite those efforts, O'Dea, the CEO of a Colorado construction company and a first-time candidate for office, won his primary last month.
- Now some Democrats worry they may have helped strengthen the rival they feared.
Between the lines: Bennet isn't among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Senate Republicans' campaign arm, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is still hyper-focused on battleground races in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and New Hampshire.
- But many outside conservative groups see Colorado as the next big pickup opportunity for Republicans given the current dynamics in the state.
- Rising inflation and President Biden’s sinking approval ratings have further fueled their eagerness to get more involved in the Colorado race.