Senate Dems Report Record Haul, Say Spending Is Turning Several Races Their Way

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) says that it turned in a record-breaking fundraising quarter, raising over $27 million over the last three months, including $15.5 million in September alone. The DSCC raised $5.5 million more in the third quarter of this year than in the last comparable mid-term third quarter in 2006, and raised more this September than in September of 2006 and September of 2008.

The DSCC, the arm of the Democratic Party charged with electing Democrats to the Senate, also says its expenditures are working. Recent DSCC fundraising appeals say the organization is on the air with advertising in nine states, and are now leading in seven of those races.

In total, the DSCC has raised over $101 million this election cycle, more than $6 million more than at this point in the last comparable mid-term cycle in 2006, and has $25.6 million in cash-on-hand for the final stretch. The DSCC spent a little under $23.4 million in the third quarter, the organization says in a statement.

Congressional Democrats must defend their majorities in both the House and Senate in the 2010 midterm elections, which come in just a matter of weeks. Democrats must compete in a political environment which has proven difficult for them for months now.

“Democrats are increasingly unified and motivated in the final stretch of the midterm elections,” says DSCC Executive Director J.B. Poersch. “As Republicans nominate extremists who want to return to the failed Bush economic policies of the past, Democrats are ready to fight. Despite shadow Republican groups pouring millions of undisclosed, unregulated, and unlimited special interest money into these races, our supporters are making sure Democrats have the resources they need to wage competitive races and ultimately keep Democrats in the Senate majority.”

In the third quarter of 2006, the most recent comparable mid-term cycle, the DSCC raised $21.9 million, $5.5 million less than was raised this third quarter. The DSCC raised $15.5 million in September alone, which is more than the $14.4 million raised in September of 2008, and the $13.6 million raised in September of 2006. In total, the DSCC has raised $101.3 million this election cycle, which is more than the $95.2 million which was raised at this same time in the 2006 cycle.

The 2006 election cycle was the year Democrats retook control of both chambers of Congress from Republicans amid deep dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush. The 2008 cycle was the election that brought Democrat Barack Obama to the White House and enlarged Democrats’ majorities in both the House and Senate.

Although Democrats reported higher campaign income this year, they are facing increased attacks on TV and elsewhere funded by independent conservative and corporate groups. These increased attacks are largely due to the effects of the January Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United. That ruling swept aside decades of bipartisan limitations on corporate and nonprofit influence of elections.

The origins of these corporate expenditures also are often hidden from public scrutiny.

The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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