Senate fundraising continues at breakneck speed; Kelly’s $52M Lead Package – Cronkite News – Cronkite News | Region & Cash

Analysts say part of Senator Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.’s fundraising success is because he was elected just two years ago in a costly, hard-fought special election. That put Kelly in a position where he’s “essentially campaigned non-stop for years,” one said. (Archive photo by Meg Potter/Cronkite News)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., reported raising nearly $52.5 million as of June 30, putting him far from the pack of potential Republican challengers stuck in the final days of a bitter primary race is ahead.

With no main challenger of his own, Kelly began the final months of the campaign with nearly $25 million in cash, while the five GOP hopefuls had less than $5 million combined in the bank just two weeks before their primary, according to the latest reports at the Federal Electoral Commission.

But while Kelly continues to release what analysts call “astronomical” fundraising numbers, they note that outside political action committees have earmarked more than $42 million to oppose him in this fall’s general election. And that Democrats face strong headwinds with an unpopular president in November.

“I don’t think anyone was blown away by Arizona’s Republican campaign, but at the same time, the environment for Democrats nationally is pretty bad,” said Kyle Kondik, editor-in-chief of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “Kelly can do everything right and accumulate unlimited money and still lose.”

And Kelly, who according to one analyst “continues to be the gold standard for fundraising,” is definitely raising money. Of the $52.5 million he had raised through June 30, Kelly said he had spent just under $29 million this election cycle, leaving $25 million in the bank, according to the FEC.

Those numbers dwarfed his five Republican challengers, who said they had raised a combined $25.4 million and spent $20.1 million before the Aug. 2 primary.

related story

Businessman Jim Lamon continued to lead the GOP field in campaign funds, with $15 million raised through June 30, but $12 million of that coming from Lamon’s own pockets. Lamon said he had $2 million in his hands as of June 30.

But Lamon’s spending hasn’t allowed him to break the lead currently held by GOP hopeful Blake Masters in most polls, who reported having raised $4.6 million and $1.6 million to go to have available. Masters’ campaign was boosted by large sums of money from his former boss, tech billionaire Peter Thiel, and a coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

One analyst said the lack of grassroots government donors for these campaigns could be a problem.

“If you don’t have rank and file Republican partisans who donated to your campaign, will they be enthusiastic about you?” asked J. Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at U.Va. Center for Politics.

But Masters, with Trump’s support, leads the Republican field in most polls, followed by Lamon and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who reported raised $3 million and $2.5 million through June 30 to have spent. Former Arizona National Guard Adjutant Gen. Mick McGuire and Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson round out the GOP field with fundraising of $3 million and $308,185, respectively, as of June 30.

While they fight in the primary, Kelly was able to focus on fundraising, becoming the second-largest fundraiser in the nation after Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., who had a combined total of $84 million as of June 30.

“[Kellys]is releasing the same astronomical numbers that we’ve been expecting him to do since he first started running for Senate a few years ago,” said Jacob Rubashkin, reporter and analyst for Inside Elections.

Kondik said that Kelly and Warnock, who both won their Senate seats in particularly hotly contested 2020 elections, “continue to dominate fundraising.”

“Kelly and Warnock have essentially campaigned non-stop for years because the circumstances of their victories in their special election have continued to prove they are incredible fundraisers,” Kondik said.

This has been confirmed by Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections.

“I think the combination of a high-profile Senate race and another high-profile Senate race and the way he’s been able to cultivate his list of supporters and donors over the years continues to pay off,” Gonzales said.

Kelly’s accomplishment isn’t just down to the “robust donation list” he produced during his 2020 campaign, said Jessica Taylor, Editor of Senate and Governors at the Cook Political Report. She also noted his bipartisan appeal and the high regard he enjoyed as an acclaimed former astronaut and husband of Gabrielle Giffords, a gun control advocate and former Arizona congresswoman.

Taylor said Kelly’s best bet is to put his money in the bank for now, given how much outside money will flow into Arizona’s Senate race targeting him. FEC reports show that outside PACs — including the Senate Leadership Fund, which was linked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Defend Arizona — have already budgeted more than $42 million to oppose Kelly’s re-election .

Rubashkin said that outside funds are already being spent on the race and that it “will only increase in pace and ferocity as we get closer to Election Day, especially because there is such a gap between Kelly’s fundraising numbers and those of his various potential opponents.” . ”

Leave a Comment