Tags: gop | senate | fundraising | grows

GOP Senate Candidates Closing the Money Gap

By Melissa Clyne   |   Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 08:13 AM

Democrats have thus far bested their GOP counterparts in Senate race war chests, but Republicans are quickly narrowing the divide, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The GOP hopes the president’s dismal approval ratings and national outrage over Obamacare and its myriad problems will help the party gain the six seats needed to take control of the Senate chamber.

Dems are defending 21 of the 35 Senate seats up for grabs in the midterm elections, the Journal notes, and many of them are in red states that supported Mitt Romney for president in 2012.

"Whether it's Obamacare or ... growing the economy and creating jobs, voters feel deceived and taken advantage of by their Democratic senators and will vote to replace them with competent and credible alternatives," said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Four red state Democrats facing “particularly dangerous terrain,” according to USA Today, are Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Alaska’s Mark Begich. While the incumbent Democrats have so far outraised their likely rivals -- $20.2 million to $8.5 million, collectively -- there are still 10 months until election day and conservative advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity, which played a major role in the 2010 GOP takeover of the House, are spending millions on ads tying Democratic senators to Obamacare votes.

In targeted states with no incumbent, such as West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, Republicans have vastly outraised Dems -- $6.8 million to $1.3 million, according to The Journal. Obama lost those three states in 2012.

GOP incumbents are stockpiling their coffers for primaries, USA Today notes, for fear that tea party-aligned groups will come after them.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has four Republican challengers and some are questioning his conservative credentials, spotlighting his work on an immigration reform bill that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and his votes for Obama's Supreme Court nominees.

Graham raised $1.3 million in the final months of the year and began 2014 with more than $7.6 million in the bank, “the largest campaign stockpile of his two-term Senate career.”

"We're looking forward to a spirited campaign on Sen. Graham's conservative record," Campaign Manager Scott Farmer said.

National Republican Senatorial Committee blogger Bill Murphy says the White House is panicking.

“Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are in freakout mode. Realizing their chances of retaining a liberal majority are tanking, Barack Obama, DSCC Chairman Sen. Bennet and Executive Director Guy Cecil are huddled in the White House looking for a way to salvage the Senate.

“Obama is sinking the 2014 Democrats. His approval is just 36% average in battlegrounds and Democrats in those states have voted with him almost 94% of the time.

All is not well. With these dismal numbers, not even Bill Clinton can save them.”

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