Tags: Fundraising | Senate Races | Democrats | Republicans

Fundraising Figures, Ad Spending Lend Insight Into Senate Races

By    |   Wednesday, 01 October 2014 09:48 AM

While polls can provide a snapshot of where a race stands in the public's eye, quarterly fundraising figures also give insight into the financial state of a campaign, an all-important factor heading toward Election Day.

In the next few weeks, the respective campaign and political action committees will disclose their totals, which might indicate which campaigns are gaining momentum, and whether the Republican surge reflected in the polls is accurate.

For example, analysts believe the Democrats' strong showing in the second quarter showed many Republican donors were holding their fire. In the second quarter, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $21.7 million raised between April and June, boosting its total for the cycle to a record-setting $95.8 million, according to The Huffington Post.

On the other hand, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), as of the end of the second quarter had raised $70.3 million this cycle, which is almost equal to the $68.6 million the NRSC had raised at the same point in the 2012 cycle.

Florida-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson told MSNBC that “there is a sense that the major donor community has been holding fire,” but polls showing races tightening in Colorado and Iowa, and the once-secure Kansas seat at risk might inspire them to put money into the campaigns.

"As it stands, we’re behind the [fundraising] curve in the last month, but this is the kind of thing that a dozen of the big boys could rectify on one conference call,” Wilson said.

Third quarter fundraising totals could give insight into where the Georgia campaign stands after Republican David Perdue won his primary runoff, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In Alaska, Republican Dan Sullivan was slightly behind Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in fundraising even though he was in the middle of a primary campaign. The Journal says 3rd quarter financial reports could show whether his surge in the polls reflects a surge in his fundraising numbers.

For example, Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn last quarter raised $3.5 million in the second quarter, almost $1 million more than businessman Perdue, but that was before Perdue beat Rep. Jack Kingston on the primary. The third quarter figures will show whether Perdue has gained ground on Nunn and which candidate currently has momentum on their side, the paper notes.

Since winning the primary, Nunn has received some high-profile endorsements, including from former President George H.W. Bush, who recently announced his support for Perdue, The Washington Post reports.

The fundraising advantage held by Democratic committees has resulted in an increase in spending by outside groups, which is keeping many races close, reports the Wesleyan Media Project.

Just two weeks ago, Democrats dominated the airwaves, but that appears to have been reversed as Republicans have gained the upper hand in Iowa, Kentucky, Colorado, and Alaska thanks to spending by outside groups.

In those states, more than 40 percent of pro-Republican ad airings were sponsored by groups between September 12 and September 25.

"In Iowa, for instance, ads favoring Republican Joni Ernst outnumbered ads favoring Democrat Bruce Braley by 1,500 during the past two weeks, with over 60 percent of the pro-Republican ads coming from outside groups," the Wesleyan Media Project report says.

In Colorado, that might have had an impact on the race as polls indicate Republican Cory Gardner in a stronger position than just a few weeks ago, reports Nate Silver of the website FiveThirtyEight.

According to Silver's analysis, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall held the lead in five polls taken between Aug. 26 and Sept. 11, but since then, he has trailed in all five.

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While polls can provide a snapshot of where a race stands in the public's eye, quarterly fundraising figures also give insight into the financial state of a campaign, an all-important factor heading toward Election Day.
Fundraising, Senate Races, Democrats, Republicans
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 09:48 AM
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