Senate Democrats staring down tough re-election fights can be looking to one bright spot: sizable fundraisers and cash stockpiles more than a year before Election Day.
In the states where they’re most vulnerable in 2024 — Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin — Democratic incumbents raised more money than they previously had at this stage in previous cycles, the latest campaign records show. Saturday was the deadline for campaigns to submit spending and fundraising reports for the three months between April 1 and June 30.
Most of the vulnerable Democratic incumbent senators have also outpaced potential Republican challengers in fundraising and will head into the fall with several million dollars in cash on hand.
The race for control of the Senate is in its early months and Republicans are still building campaigns. Still, Democrats’ relative financial strength in the second quarter of an off year suggests significant energy as the party aims to protect its slim majority next year.
The electoral map, however, will be one of the most challenging the party has faced in years. Nearly two dozen Democratic seats are up for reelection in 2024, with eight incumbents considered vulnerable, while only 10 Republicans face reelection, and all GOP incumbents have won by wide margins in previous cycles.
In their bids for re-election to the Senate, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Montana’s Jon Tester both raised more than $5 million. Mr. Brown had $8.7 million in cash and Mr. Tester $10.5 million. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin raised $3.2 million, the most ever raised in a Wisconsin Senate contest in a free year, according to her campaign.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a conservative Democrat who hasn’t yet publicly stated whether he’ll run for reelection — and is flirting with a third-party presidential race — raised $1.3 million in the past three months and has more than $10 million in the bank, expanding his cash lead over Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney, Republicans who have already started campaigns to unseat him.
In Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey posted his best fundraising quarter to date, bringing in more than $4 million for his re-election bid.
Republicans have racked up their money machines and recruited candidates in five states with vulnerable Democrats. Republican confidence has also been boosted by the 2024 Senate map.
Democrats « are trying to use money to defy gravity, » said Stu Sandler, a policy adviser and former policy director on the Republican National Senatorial Committee. “This is a lopsided map for them,” she added, pointing to former President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 victories in Ohio, Montana and West Virginia—all states Trump won decisively. And, she said, Republicans have some « very credible favorites » to challenge the incumbents.
Democrats view this fundraiser as a crucial show of force that will strengthen their candidates ahead of a challenging 2024 cycle for the party.
« Voters and grassroots supporters are once again supporting the battle-tested Democratic Senate candidates in record fashion because they recognize the stakes of this election and the importance of stopping Republicans from implementing their toxic agenda, » he said. Tommy Garcia, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
In Arizona, Rep. Ruben Gallego garnered more than Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who switched her party affiliation from Democrat to independent, by two to one—the second time this year Mr. Gallego has hit such a ratio. Ms. Sinema in cash of more than $7 million still follows. Ms Sinema has not yet announced whether she will run for re-election.
Democrats in safe Republican territory also fared well. In Texas, Rep. Colin Allred raised $6.2 million in his challenge to Senator Ted Cruz. Mr. Allred, who announced his campaign in May, has raised more money in a shorter period of time than Mr. Cruz, who has raised $4.4 million in the past three months.