Incumbent senators are sitting on a combined total of more than $77 million as they stockpile campaign cash ahead of next year’s elections. Fourteen incumbent senators pulled in more than $1 million in the last quarter, and eleven now have at least $3 million in the bank, according to forms filed with the Federal Election Commission this week and analyzed by The Hill. The fundraising hauls are just the beginning of what is likely to be a pitched battle for control of the Senate. Republicans are defending 22 seats next year, while Democrats have 12 seats on the table. Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, meaning Democrats would have to pick up a net of at least three seats and the White House to win back the majority, or four seats to hold control regardless of who wins the presidency. The fundraising results offer the earliest hints at the contours of next year’s battlefield. Among those who raised the most money were Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate headed for late night vote amid standoff over lands bill Koch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week MORE (R-Texas), who pulled in $2 million in the last three months; Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police No evidence of unauthorized data transfers by top Chinese drone manufacturer: study Senate Democratic campaign arm launches online hub ahead of November MORE (R-Ariz.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (R-Colo.), each of whom raised about $2 million; and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash MORE (R-Maine), who pulled in $1.5 million. All four Republicans are likely to be top Democratic targets next year. Both McSally and Gardner have drawn challengers who have already posted impressive fundraising numbers of their own. In Arizona, former astronaut Mark Kelly (D) pulled in more than $4.1 million and has $3.2 million in the bank. In Colorado, former state Sen. Mike Johnston (D) raised $1.8 million in his first weeks on the trail, though he faces an increasingly crowded Democratic primary field. On the Democratic side, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) pulled in $1.6 million. He begins what is likely to be an uphill battle for reelection with $3.1 million in the bank in a deeply conservative state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE carried easily in 2016. The only candidate who has both announced a bid against Jones and filed a report with the FEC, Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief says he opposes invoking Insurrection Act for protests | White House dodges on Trump’s confidence in Esper | ‘Angry and appalled’ Mattis scorches Trump Republicans stand by Esper after public break with Trump Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard MORE (R), ended the quarter with $2 million on hand, though he will have to spend much of that money on what is likely to be a contested Republican primary. Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Mnuchin indicates openness to more PPP loans in next COVID-19 relief bill On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility MORE (D-N.H.) raised nearly $1.5 million for the quarter. She could face a tough challenge from Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who has voiced increasing interest in running. “People in potentially competitive races really have to use every day to move the ball forward for their race, and that means fundraising, press, politics,” said Martha McKenna, a Democratic strategist and former senior operative at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “If you’re headed for a tough 2020, taking fundraising very seriously is the top of your list.” Political observers use the early numbers to gauge just how seriously a sitting senator takes his or her reelection bid. A strong quarter is unlikely to dissuade a challenger from running, though a weak quarter can be an early red flag that a senator is taking it easy during a crucial stretch. “If you’re an incumbent and you have a bad quarter it shows how unprepared you are for what’s coming your way. This should be a quarter where you can knock it out of the park,” said Rob Jesmer, a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a top adviser to Cornyn. “You realize right away who has a good operation and who doesn’t.” Cornyn has the largest campaign bank account of any sitting senator, at more than $7.4 million. Two fellow Republicans — Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op MORE (R-S.C.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) — narrowly outraised Cornyn over the last three months. Graham has $4.6 million in the bank, and McConnell has more than $5.5 million on hand. First-term Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGeorge Conway group hits Ernst in new ad GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (R-Iowa), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanUS security starts in the Arctic Senate confirms nation’s first African American service chief GOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas MORE (R-Alaska) and Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Koch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters MORE (R-Mont.), all of whom captured Democratic seats six years ago, all raised a little more than $1.1 million and had more than $2 million on hand by the end of March, including transfers from joint fundraising accounts. The initial results can also serve as an indication that some long-serving senators are considering retirement, rather than another six years in office. Already, Sens. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Kan.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderState, city education officials press Congress for more COVID-19 funds Hillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Republicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill MORE (R-Tenn.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallPark Police asked to defend rationale behind clearing protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez defeats Valerie Plame in New Mexico primary MORE (D-N.M.) have said they will not run for reelection. Five senators raised less than half a million dollars over the last three months. Four of them — Sens. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziGOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters House GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought The Hill’s Morning Report – Can Sanders be stopped? MORE (R-Wyo.), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischGOP’s Obama-era probes fuel Senate angst Democrat Paulette Jordan to face incumbent Jim Risch in Idaho Senate race Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers demand answers on Chinese COVID hacks | Biden re-ups criticism of Amazon | House Dem bill seeks to limit microtargeting MORE (R-Idaho), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill MORE (R-Okla.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-R.I.) — have not formally declared they are running for new terms. All four would likely skate to reelection; Enzi, Risch and Inhofe represent safely red states, though none of the three Republicans have formally said they will seek another term. Inhofe’s campaign said the Oklahoma Republican had actually raised more this quarter, $334,000, than he had at this point six years ago. Reed’s Rhode Island is deeply Democratic, and he will attend a campaign fundraiser with Walt Disney Co. executives this week. The fifth senator lagging on the fundraising circuit is Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), who has just $217,000 in the bank. She has just begun to rebuild her campaign account after winning a special election to fill the final two years of her predecessor’s term. Some senators who may face tough races started off the cycle at a slower fundraising clip. Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators The Hill’s Campaign Report: It’s primary night in Georgia Tillis unveils new 0,000 ad in North Carolina Senate race MORE (R-N.C.) raised a little more than $1 million in the last three months, and he has $2.9 million on hand; Tillis’s home state is likely to be a presidential battleground next year, and North Carolina voters have made a recent habit of booting one-term incumbents like Elizabeth Dole (R), Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill’s Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Tillis wins North Carolina Senate primary Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (D), Lauch Faircloth (R) and Terry Sanford (D). Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) raised $1.8 million in the first quarter of the year, and ended with more than $3.3 million in the bank. Perdue, who gave his own campaign $3.9 million six years ago, faces the prospect of a challenge from former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D), who has built her own network of national donors. Perdue’s situation is like many of his colleagues, on both sides of the aisle: His most prominent potential challenger has not yet made a decision about whether to jump in the race, underscoring just how long there is to go before voters have their say. Prominent candidates have not made final decisions in states like Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky, Iowa or North Carolina. But, the Democratic strategist McKenna said, now is the time for candidates to begin sucking up cash. The battle for the White House has already begun in earnest, offering a shiny and enticing distraction to donors who might otherwise pay attention to down-ballot contests. “This is the window, because the presidential’s going to start sucking up all the attention,” McKenna said.
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