If fundraising translates into votes, Mitch McConnell’s Senate majority is toast. Okay, we all know that it doesn’t work that way, but fundraising translates to enthusiasm and enthusiasm can definitely translate to votes. So, yes, Majority Leader McConnell’s freak-out over the filibuster is well-founded, and will be intensified now that fundraising information for the second quarter has been released.
As CBS News puts it, Democratic Senate candidates have “smashed” fundraising records, and boy does it seem like a lot of it is precisely because of Mitch McConnell. Prime example: the astonishing $17.4 million raked in from April through June by Amy McGrath, now the Democratic nominee to take on McConnell. Her average donation is $39, so that’s a lot of donors. McGrath has spent $15 million so far on advertising on both the primary against Charles Booker, which tightened up considerably in the last weeks of the campaign, and in raising her profile for a presumed run against McConnell. This is definitely and uphill climb for Democrats, because as unpopular as McConnell has always been in the state, he’s been safe. Sending $39 to McGrath, however, seems to be a very good way for people all over the country to register just how much they hate McConnell. It also means that McConnell has to spend time and money covering his own ass—so he can’t be helping out his fellow Republicans.
One of those fellow Republicans is South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who’s also got to be taking a close look at his unfailing allegiance to both McConnell and Trump now that his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, has racked up $14 million total in the second quarter. That doubled what Harrison raised in the first quarter of the race—and that total set a fundraising record in South Carolina. In Maine, where the primary is next week, Democrat Sara Gideon brought in more than $9 million against Republican Susan Collins. That’s an increase of about $2 million over her quarter one haul. There’s also several million waiting for Gideon in escrow funds raised by grassroots groups, including Daily Kos, for the Democratic nominee in Maine.
In North Carolina, Democrat Cal Cunningham raised $7.4 for his challenge to Sen. Thom Tillis. Outgoing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised $7.7 million for his race against Sen. Steve Daines. In Iowa, Theresa Greenfield raised $6 million for her challenge to Sen. Joni Ernst. All this truly makes McConnell’s Senate defense national—Republicans are going to have to spend in South Carolina and Iowa! And Montana, and Arizona, and Colorado, and North Carolina, and probably even Texas. And KANSAS. Dr. Barbara Bollier, seeking the seat of retiring Republican Pat Roberts, raised more than any other single federal or state candidate in Kansas history for a single quarter—$3.7 million. To repeat: Republicans are going to have to spend Senate money IN KANSAS.
In Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock raised nearly $3 million in his challenge to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, and Jon Ossoff raised more than $3.4 million for his race against Sen. David Perdue. In Texas, M.J. Hegar, who is in a runoff next week with State Sen. Royce West to take on Sen. John Cornyn, raised $1.7 million for the quarter. All this is without yet knowing how much Mark Kelly raised in Arizona to take on Sen. Martha McSally or John Hickenlooper’s total for the quarter in his challenge to Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner. Those states look so hopeless for Republicans that they may end up sacrificing them to save at least one seat in Georgia or the North Carolina seat or, god help them, Susan Collins. It means they have to play all over the country—and that is very good news for a Democratic flip in November.