Top Takeaways on “Record-Breaking Q2 Fundraising” for Dem Senate Candidates

“Energized” small-dollar donors drive impressive second quarter for Democratic challengers and incumbents across the country

Democratic Senate incumbents and challengers continue to gain momentum in key battleground states with “record-breaking Q2 fundraising,” reporting impressive money hauls in the second quarter powered by grassroots support and small-dollar donations that are drawing comparisons to the “green wave” that fueled Democratic wins in 2018. 

It’s a clear indication that “Democratic donors still look energized” and a trend that “could worry Republicans trying to defend the upper chamber in 2020.” Here’s the latest Democratic fundraising success in key Senate races for Q2:

  • ARIZONA: Combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly raised an impressive $4.2 million in Q2, managing to exceed his massive Q1 fundraising haul. McSally lagged behind Kelly’s fundraising for the second quarter in a row, and Kelly – who now has nearly $6 million in the bank – once again increased his cash on hand advantage.
  • MAINE: State House Speaker Sara Gideon launched her campaign to challenge Collins in late June after a successful “legislative session filled with progressive victories” for Mainers. Gideon raised more than $1 million in just one week, the largest fundraising haul for a similar period in Maine history. Gideon raised half of what Collins did over three months in just one week. Gideon’s strong fundraising was powered by more than 2,000 Mainers from across the state, and nearly 97% of contributions were $100 or less.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Jaime Harrison raised a historic $1.5 million in Q2 – the most ever for a Democratic Senate challenger in South Carolina – thanks in large part to his “small-dollar army.”
  • NEW MEXICO: Congressman Ben Ray Luján – who led the fight to take back the House in 2018 – is already building a strong campaign to hold this open Democratic Senate seat, raising $1.1 million in his first quarter.
  • ALABAMA: Senator Doug Jones raised more than $2 million in Q2, outraising the entire “muddied” GOP field in Alabama combined in terms of total contributions. The Jones campaign now has $4.2 million in cash on hand.
  • MICHIGAN: Senator Gary Peters raised $2.4 million in Q2, the biggest off-year quarter haul for any Senate candidate in Michigan history. Nearly 80% of contributions were $50 or less, and the Peters campaign now has $4.7 million in cash on hand.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Senator Jeanne Shaheen raised more than $1.9 million, more than any other New Hampshire Senate candidate in history for Q2 of the off-year. 95% of contributions were less than $250, and the Shaheen campaign now has $2.8 million in cash on hand.
  • VIRGINIA: Senator Mark Warner welcomed failed former Congressman Scott Taylor to the race by announcing he raised $1.8 million in Q2 and has $5.4 million in cash on hand.

The strong fundraising trends continued in other key states. In Colorado, Democratic challengers reported raising significantly more combined than what Senator Cory Gardner, the most vulnerable Republican incumbent, raised in Q2. In North Carolina, one Democratic challenger raised more than half a million dollars in contributions in just 14 days, beating Senator Thom Tillis’ overall fundraising pace in Q2. And in Texas, which is poised to be a 2020 battleground, one Democratic challenger running to defeat Senator John Cornyn reported raising more than $1 millionin Q2.

“Democratic Senate candidates in key states across the country are breaking fundraising records, outpacing Republicans, and putting their opponents on notice – and they’re doing it with strong grassroots support and small-dollar donations,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “As Republicans continue to get dragged down by an unpopular president who’s losing support in their states and their own toxic voting records in Washington, Democrats are laying the early groundwork to build winning campaigns for 2020.”


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