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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Democrats’ Senate campaign arm raised nearly $9.3 million in March and will report more than $13 million in the bank when it files its monthly financial report Tuesday, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The haul for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee topped its Republican counterpart for the second straight month. But its total for the first quarter trailed slightly, and the DSCC still has a sizable chunk of debt to pay off.

By the numbers: The DSCC’s March fundraising brought its total quarterly haul to roughly $22.7 million, according to data provided exclusively to Axios.

  • A DSCC aide said last month was the committee’s best-ever showing in March of an election cycle off-year, and its best-ever off-year month for grassroots fundraising.
  • The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised about a million less during March. But it had a slight edge in first-quarter fundraising, with just over $23 million, Politico reported last week.

What they’re saying: “The DSCC’s record-breaking fundraising reflects the strength of our grassroots support and is powered by Americans across the country who understand the importance of protecting and expanding Democrats’ Senate majority,” executive director Christie Roberts said in a statement.

Yes, but: While the DSCC entered April with more cash on hand than the NRSC, Democrats must contend with substantially more debt.

  • According to the DSCC aide, the committee paid down $3 million of an outstanding $18 million loan last month. The remaining $15 million is due by June 2022.
  • The NRSC, meanwhile, paid off its remaining $5.4 million in debt last month.

Go deeper

GOP pivot: Big business to small dollars

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.

3 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.