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Midterms: Here are the senators being outraised by their challengers before the Nov. 6 elections

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WASHINGTON – Four of the seven most endangered Senate Democrats were outraised in the final quarter before the Nov. 6 elections, according to campaign disclosure reports filed Monday.

Incumbents running in Florida, New Jersey, Indiana and West Virginia took in less money from July through September than their Republican challengers.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez have also been outraised for the full cycle thanks to the deep pockets of opponents who are heavily self-funding their campaigns.

But no incumbent got as big a financial stomping in the last quarter as GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised $38 million in three months – a national record for a Senate race – compared to Cruz’s $11.6 million. 

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, the only other GOP incumbent facing a competitive re-election, also collected less in the last three months – as well as throughout the campaign – than Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen brought in.

In Tennessee and Arizona – the two states with competitive races without incumbents – the Democratic candidates have the financial advantage.

Democrats need to only net two seats next month to win control of the Senate, where Republicans have a 51-49 margin. But Democrats are defending most of the 35 Senate seats on the ballot. And many of the most competitive races are in states President Donald Trump won in 2016.

The considerable sums being raised by the candidates, along with funds the national parties and outside groups are putting into advertising and voter mobilization efforts, mean both sides will have plenty of money to make their case, said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“I don’t think at the end of the day we will look at Senate races and say that so-and-so won or lost because of money,” Duffy said.

Here’s how the candidates compare financially, as of Sept. 30, in the most competitive Senate races.

►In Texas, Cruz raised nearly the same amount as O’Rourke until the last quarter. Then O’Rourke raised $26.5 million more than Cruz. That included nearly $18 million in contributions of $200 or less. O’Rourke has spent $39 million compared to Cruz’s $25 million and had nearly $23 million left compared to Cruz’s $11.3 million.

►In Nevada, Rosen outraised Heller by nearly $5 million in the last quarter. For the full cycle, Rosen has raised and spent about $3 million more than Heller. She had $2.6 million left compared to his $2.7 million at the end of September.

► In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott raised the second-most of any Senate candidate in the third quarter. But most of his $32 million haul came from his own pockets. The self-funding has enabled Scott to spend about three times as much as the $18 million Nelson has spent. Scott had $2 million in the bank at the end of October compared to Nelson’s $8.6 million.

► In New Jersey, Republican challenger Bob Hugin has raised and spent about $15 million more than Menendez thanks to the $24 million Hugin has loaned his campaign. That includes an $8.5 million loan in the last three months. Hugin had $3.5 million in cash at the end of September compared to Menendez’s $5.6 million.

► In Indiana, GOP challenger Mike Braun raised $5.6 million in the third quarter compared to Democatic Sen. Joe Donnelly’s nearly $3.1 million. Braun has come close to matching the $14.7 million Donnelly has raised overall thanks to the nearly $8.8 million Braun has loaned his campaign, including $2.4 million recently. He had $1.9 million in cash compared to Donnelly’s $4.5 million.

► In West Virginia, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has raised $4 million more overall than Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey despite being slightly outraised in the last quarter for the first time. Morrisey raised $321,000 more than Manchin. But Manchin has spent twice as much as Morrisey and had $4.2 million left at the end of September compared to Morrisey’s $1.6 million.

►In Arizona, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema ourtraised Republican Rep. Martha McSally by about $500,000 in the last quarter. Sinema has outspent McSally by about $7 million since the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake began. She had $2 million left at the end of September compared to McSally’s $3 million.

► In Tennessee, former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen has grown his fundraising advantage over GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Bob Corker. Bredesen outraised Blackburn in the last quarter by $3 million, increasing his fundraising total to $14.9 million, including nearly $5.5 million in personal loans. Blackburn has raised $11.6 million and spent $9 million compared to Bredesen’s $11.7 million.

 ► In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill maintained her fundraising dominance over Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. The $8.5 million she raised recently was two-and-a-half times Hawley’s haul. She’s spent nearly six times as much as the $5 million he’s spent, and had $3.2 million left compared to Hawley’s $3.5 million at the end of September.

► In North Dakota, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp continues to enjoy a money advantage over Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer. She’s spent three times as much as the $4 million Cramer has spent. And Heitkamp had $3 million left compared to Cramer’s $1 million at the end of September after raising $3.8 million in the quarter compared to Cramer’s $1.7 million.

►In Montana, the $18 million raised by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester this cycle was four-and-a-half times what GOP challenger Matt Rosendale has raised. In the last three months, Tester took in $3.8 million compared to Rosendale’s $2 million. After spending nearly five times as much as Rosendale, Tester had $1.8 million left compared to his opponent’s $622,181.

 

 

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