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Data: FEC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The most shocking pre-election result neither side can dispute is in: Democrats are destroying Republicans in truly historic ways in fundraising. 

Why it matters: Money can’t buy elections, but it sure helps. And Joe Biden and a half dozen Senate Democratic candidates are bathing in cash, often with 2x or 3x advantages over their opponents. 

  • A top Republican insider told me: "Fundraising is a barometer of voter support and intensity. Pretty clear from these numbers who has more support and enthusiasm."

Let’s go to the tape: 

  • On the air, President Trump is being "vastly outspent" by Biden, who has maintained a nearly 2-to-1 advantage for months, the N.Y. Times reports on today's front page.
  • Joe Biden and the DNC raised $383 million in September, compared to $248 million for Trump and the RNC. Biden's campaign had $432 million in cash on hand, to $251 million for Trump's campaign and joint committees.
  • In the top 14 Senate races, Democrats more than doubled Republicans' fundraising haul, according to a Politico tally — $363 million to $143 million, for the quarter ending Sept. 30.
  • Democratic challengers are raking in so much money that seven of the 10 most expensive Senate races ever are happening now, CNN reported from Advertising Analytics data.

Some marquee destinations for Senate cash:

  • In South Carolina, Democrat Jaime Harrison, challenging Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham, shattered Senate fundraising records with a $57 million haul for Q3. Graham raised half that — $28 million, which itself was a record for Senate Republicans.
  • Also doubling up his opponent is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who's challenging Sen. Steve Daines. Bullock set a record for the most ever raised in a quarter for a Montana U.S. Senate race ($27 million to Daines' $12 million) — beating his own record for the previous quarter, Lee Newspapers reported.
  • In Iowa, Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield raised more money in Q3 than any previous Iowa Senate candidate in an entire election cycle, according to Iowa Starting Line. She out-raised Sen. Joni Ernst 4-to-1, according to the Center for Responsive Politics ($29 million to $7 million).
  • Democratic challengers also raised eye-popping amounts for long-shot Senate races in Kentucky, Texas and Mississippi.

Money is also trickling down to once-unthinkable Senate races — including Kansas and Alaska — forcing Republican outside groups to spend money playing defense, AP reports from Kantar/CMAG data.

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Go deeper

Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

Updated Jan 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Hearings for President Biden's Cabinet nominations to lead the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Energy, and Veterans' Affairs started Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for new and incoming presidents.