Key Q3 Takeaways: Democratic Challengers Outraise Senate Republicans, Breaking Records and Building Momentum in Key States

Candidates in Arizona, Iowa, Maine outraised vulnerable GOP incumbents while Democratic Senators in key states continue to show grassroots strength with impressive fundraising totals

Democratic candidates in key Senate races across the country outraised Republicans in the third quarter of 2019, building grassroots momentum and ensuring they’ll have the resources to compete and win in critical 2020 battlegrounds. Democratic candidates’ record-breaking fundraising came as the DSCC outraised the NRSC three months in a row for a best-ever off-year Q3 total of more than $16 million.

“This quarter’s impressive fundraising shows Democrats continue to have the momentum on our side in the battle for the Senate,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “As vulnerable Republicans continue to face blowback for their toxic records and consistent failures of leadership, strong Democratic candidates are holding them accountable and building winning campaigns that will carry them to victory across the country next November.”

Democratic Senate candidates are continuing to benefit from a “green wave” of support from small-dollar grassroots donors. Here are the key takeaways from Democrats’ formidable third-quarter fundraising:

  • ARIZONA: Navy veteran and retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly “eclipsed his first two previous fundraising quarters” to report more than $5.5 million raised in Q3 — outraising unelected Senator Martha McSally by more than $2.5 million, and expanding his cash-on-hand advantage to nearly $4 million.
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Senator Thom Tillis’ fundraising dropped 37% from Q2 to Q3 to a disappointing $1.2 million, as he struggles to win his increasingly nasty Republican primary and dumps $2.2 million (nearly half his cash on hand) on TV and radio ads.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Former educator and South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison raised more than $2 million, a “staggering haul” that represents the biggest quarter ever for a Democratic challenger in the state.
  • NEW MEXICO: Congressman Ben Ray Luján raised more than $1 million, including contributions from all 33 of New Mexico’s counties, setting a new record for the best off-year third-quarter haul for a federal candidate in New Mexico.
  • MICHIGAN: Senator Gary Peters raised more than $2.5 million in Q3, with 92% of donations under $100 — his biggest quarter of the cycle — and reported more than $6.3 million in cash on hand.


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