WASHINGTON (AP) — Political parties and their committees faced a Monday deadline to disclose how much cash each raised last month and how much they had on hand as October began.
Democrats' campaign committee for House races picked up $16.7 million in September despite long odds of winning a majority — surpassing both parties' campaign arms focused on the Senate, which is very much in play. If Republicans net six Senate seats and win handily as expected in the House, they will control both chambers in Congress for the final two years of President Barack Obama's term.
No shortage of money is behind both parties' efforts.
DONORS FLOOD SENATE PANELS
The two party committees dedicated to electing senators raised more than a combined $1 million each day in September as donors began reacting to an increasingly possible Republican take-over of the Senate. Each had a record month for fundraising.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $16 million in September and began October with more than $14 million ready to spend. The group also spent $27 million over a 30-day period in September, emptying bank accounts that have collected $127 million since January 2013.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, meanwhile, raised $15.5 million last month — roughly four times its average monthly haul this cycle. The group did not disclose how much the committee spent last month or how much it had saved for the final weeks of an already bruising campaign. The Republicans have collected $98 million since January 2013.
Democrats have consistently bested Republicans when it comes to getting supporters to open their wallets. The DSCC has outraised the NRSC in 19 of the 21 months this campaign cycle — and every month this year.
That $29 million advantage has allowed Senate Democrats' political machine to hire staff in crucial races to knock on doors, call voters and help candidates campaign against Republicans. It also has allowed them to spend in races that previously were considered off limits, such as the Republican-favored race in South Dakota, where Democrats are now spending $1 million on ads.
YET DEMS STILL FUNDING FORCE IN HOUSE
Despite an uphill climb to topple Republicans' majority, House Democrats' campaign committee raised $16.7 million last month and began October with more than $34 million for final weeks before Election Day. That puts the DCCC atop the pile, both in terms of cash raised and cash banked, according to forms filed so far.
At the same time, House Republicans' campaign effort raised more than $11 million last month and started October sitting on $33 million for what is expected to be an easy task of defending their majority.
Combined, the Democratic Congressional Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have now raised more than a quarter billion — $288 million, to be exact — and have spent $221 million.
Despite a fundraising advantage, Democrats face tough odds for denying Republicans their majority. Only a handful of races are seen as competitive because once-a-decade redistricting favors Republicans and President Barack Obama remains deeply unpopular in many House districts.
Even so, the DCCC has raised $163 million since January of 2013. The NRCC has raised $125 million in the same time.
If it needs it, the NRCC has secured a $20 million line of credit. The DNC has pledged $5 million to help the DCCC.
Republicans hold 233 seats and Democrats have 199 in the current Congress. There are three vacancies.
PARTIES ALSO THROWING CASH TO SENATE
Both parties' national organizations are spending heavily to tilt the balance of power in Senate.
The Republican National Committee has borrowed $4 million to help the NRSC. The committee also is promising donors that every dollar raised between now and Election Day will be earmarked to help Senate hopefuls.
The RNC also has sent $1.5 million to state parties to help get-out-the-vote efforts in competitive Senate races.
The Democratic National Committee also is doubling-down on the Senate. The DNC had planned to give the DSCC $2 million but last week bumped that figure up to $5 million.
The DNC was working to open a line of credit from which they could borrow for the final weeks. Because the documents were not signed before Oct. 15, details about that decision will not be disclosed until postelection financial forms are filed on Dec. 4.
The RNC raised $13.5 million in September. The DNC has not yet filed its financial report for last month.
OUTSIDE GROUPS STILL HOLD SWAY
— American Crossroads, the super PAC backed by former George W. Bush political adviser Karl Rove, raised almost $11.4 million last month. The biggest check came from self-storage billionaire Wayne Hughes. He wrote a $2 million check, taking his total giving to the super PAC to $2.5 million. American Crossroads' largest donor this campaign cycle remains New York-based hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. He wrote a $1.25 million check to Crossroads in September, taking his giving to $2.6 million. American Crossroads has now raised more than $25 million. Officials say it and its non-profit affiliate, Crossroads GPS, have raised a combined $100 million. Crossroads GPS does not disclose its donors.
— Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the only donor to Independence USA PAC in September. The billionaire former mayor gave his super PAC roughly $900,000 last month. Bloomberg is the only individual contributor to the group, which has spent more than $8 million since January 2013. He also gave $1 million in September to the pro-abortion rights Planned Parenthood Votes, roughly half of what it raised last month.
— The Senate Majority PAC collected $9.2 million in September to help keep Democrats in power. The group, which has ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has banked — and spent — more than $40 this year. Its donors last month included New York businessman Ian Cumming, who wrote a check for $1 million. Others who gave include the American Federation of Teachers' political committee, liberal patron George Soros and Hollywood giants Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
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