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Dems Top GOP in Midterm Fundraising    10/16 06:11

   Democrats lead Republicans in the money race in many of the key Senate and 
House campaigns three weeks ahead of midterm elections that will determine 
control of Congress.

   (AP) -- Democrats lead Republicans in the money race in many of the key 
Senate and House campaigns three weeks ahead of midterm elections that will 
determine control of Congress.

   Although the Senate map positions Republicans to maintain their narrow 
majority, some of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents continued to rake 
in cash in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest campaign finance 
disclosures. Among House candidates, the Democrats' campaign arm says that at 
least 60 Democrats topped $1 million in fundraising during the quarter, with 
several posting eye-popping hauls in excess of $2 million and even $3 million.

   And national Democrats say that includes many challengers outraising 
Republican incumbents.

   Candidates, party committees and some political action committees were 
continuing to submit their latest reports to the Federal Election Commission 
ahead of a midnight deadline Monday.

   Democrats' money advantage has been fueled this campaign cycle by individual 
donors, particularly small donors.

   ActBlue, an online portal that allows donors to send campaign cash to 
candidates across the country, says it raised about $385 million in the third 
quarter, with an average contribution of $49. ActBlue's proliferation over the 
course of this cycle has helped counter the long-standing Republican advantage 
among PACs fueled by billionaire donors, such as casino magnate Sheldon 
Adelson's eight-figure support for the Congressional Leadership Fund that 
Speaker Paul Ryan is using as his principal means of trying to preserve the 
GOP's House majority.

   Of course, Republicans still boast a notable small-donor fundraiser of their 
own: President Donald Trump.

   The president reported $4.5 million in individual contributions between July 
1 and Sept. 30 of this year, with $2.9 million of that from small-dollar 
donations that don't have to be disclosed individually. Trump's re-election 
campaign said in a statement that his overall fundraising activity for the 
quarter was $18 million, including the money the president raises along with 
the Republican National Committee for other GOP candidates running this year.

   Republicans are hoping to use Trump's popularity in certain states to 
increase their Senate majority, yet Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of 
Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana both continue to dominate their GOP 
opponents in fundraising.

   McCaskill reported $7 million in net contributions that includes $4.6 
million in itemized individual contributions and an additional $2.18 million 
from nonitemized, small-dollar contributors. Republican Josh Hawley's campaign 
says he took in $3.4 million, with the breakdown of that haul not immediately 
available.

   In Montana, Tester raised $3.75 million in the latest period, compared to 
$1.7 million for Republican challenger Matt Rosendale. Tester reported $3.47 
million in individual contributions to Rosendale's $1.58 million. And the 
incumbent's small-dollar haul was more than three times his challenger's: 
$918,000 to $265,000.

   Texas Democratic Senate nominee Beto O'Rourke set perhaps the most notable 
mark of the fundraising period, pulling in $38 million for the quarter, more 
than tripling that of Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. But underscoring 
Democrats' challenging path to a Senate majority, polls show Cruz with a 
consistent lead nearing double digits.


(KA)

 
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