Senate Democrats Outraise Republicans in First Quarter

Senate Democrats Outraise Republicans in First Quarter

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - April 19, 2012

The Democratic group supporting U.S. Senate campaigns brought in a record $17.7 million in the first three months of this year, out-raising its Republican counterpart by nearly $3 million.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's first-quarter haul brings its cash-on-hand total to $24 million. The group has raised $70 million so far this election cycle, including $7.4 million last month.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $15 million during the first quarter, ending with $19.6 million in cash, according to the group's latest report. Last month, the committee raised $5.76 million -- $1.5 million more than it did during the same period four years ago. Both groups have retired their debts.

Since Democrats control the upper chamber, they have slightly more seats to defend than do Republicans and require substantial coffers to compete in what figures to be a close race for the Senate majority. Republicans need to gain only four seats to win back control, and see their greatest opportunities in Missouri, Montana and Nebraska. Democrats report that individual candidate campaigns outraised Republican ones by $30 million this quarter.

"We have just concluded the most successful first quarter in the history of the committee and most of our candidates just broke records of their own,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement released with the fundraising totals. "We have spent the cycle aggressively recruiting great candidates in open and Republican-held seats, our incumbents are building well-funded campaigns, and now donors are more enthusiastic than ever about the likelihood we will keep the majority.”

Regardless of which party comes out ahead in November, analysts predict that the margin of control in the Senate will be narrow, if not even. Democrats lost seven seats as a result of the 2010 midterm elections, despite out-raising Republicans by $12 million. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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