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Friday, July 12, 2024

Democrats spending a million a day on Senate races

U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis greets supporter Danell Jones during a campaign event in Billings, Mont.  (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis greets supporter Danell Jones during a campaign event in Billings, Mont.
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Senate Democrats’ campaign arm spent almost $1 million a day last month to defend their at-risk majority, according to a summary of their September finances released Monday.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s figures also indicate the group raised $16 million in September and began October with more than $14 million ready to spend. The group started September with more than $25 million banked, but began unloading its account last month, spending $27 million over a 30-day period.

“As the campaign enters its final weeks, Democrats are in strong position to hold the majority,” committee chief Guy Cecil said in a statement.

Its main GOP rival, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, last week said it raised $15.5 million in September. However, it declined to release how much cash it had in the bank, so it is impossible to know just how much it spent until the full reports are released next week.

Even so, both committees raised record amounts last month, underscoring how close the fight for Senate control has become and how much donors are willing to write checks. Republicans are trying to pick up the six Senate seats they need to reclaim the majority for the first time since the 2006 election.

Democrats, however, have consistently bested Republicans when it comes to getting supporters to open their wallets. The most recent summaries indicate the Democrats have raised $127 million, while the Republicans have collected $98 million since January 2013.

That $29 million advantage has allowed Senate Democrats’ political machine to hire staff in crucial races to knock on doors, call voters and help candidates campaign against Republicans. It also has allowed them to spend in races that previously were considered off limits, such as the Republican-favored race in South Dakota, where Democrats are now spending $1 million on ads.

But that approach means Democrats are spending roughly 90 cents of every dollar they raise, according to figures between January 2013 and the end of this September. Using their most recent figures from August, Republicans have been spending about 80 cents of every dollar raised since January 2013.

Neither committee plans to carry much — if any — cash into 2015. That means the two parties’ major Senate committees will spend at least a quarter billion dollars on just a handful of races.


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