Blue Wave Coming, in Fundraising Dollars That Is
Between July 1 and September 30, Democrat Theresa Greenfield raised almost $29 million for her race this fall against Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. That’s not only more than Ernst’s 2014 Democratic challenger, Bruce Braley, spent ($12 million) in the entire 2014 race, it’s more than Braley and Ernst spent (just more than $24 million) in that race.
And it’s not just Iowa.
In North Carolina, former state Democratic Sen. Cal Cunningham brought in $28 million in the third quarter of 2020 for his challenge to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis. Cunningham’s fundraising total for just the last three months is more than the incumbent Democrat (Kay Hagan) who Tillis beat in the 2014 race spent on the entire campaign.
In Colorado, former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) raised $22.6 million between July 1 and September 30 to support his race against Sen. Cory Gardner (R). The Democratic incumbent Gardner beat in 2014 (Mark Udall) spent a total of $20 million on that race.
The list goes on and on and on. MJ Hegar, who is challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R) in Texas, collected $13.5 million in the third quarter. Raphael Warnock, one of the Democrats taking on Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in Georgia, raised just short of $13 million.
Even in states seen as long shots to be competitive for Democrats, the cash is pouring in. In Alaska, Al Gross raised $9 million in the third quarter for his race against Sen. Dan Sullivan (R). In Mississippi, former Rep. Mike Espy collected $4 million in the third quarter for a very uphill race against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R).
Also notable, in the aftermath of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Democratic powerhouse fundrasing apparatus ActBlue put up fundraising numbers that had never been seen before, with the group claiming over $500 million in donations in the three weeks post RBG passing. Eye popping numbers that had one operative quipping:
“Is it even possible for Senate candidates to spend this kind of money?” asked NBC policy editor Benjy Sarlin, emphasizing the sheer magnitude of Cunningham’s third-quarter fundraising. “Like at some point is there just a hard limit on human attention you can command with ads and field staff?” he added.
At any rate, Team Blue has an insane amount of money going into the homestretch of the campaign.