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Lt. Gov. John Fetterman speaks at a rally in Blue Bell, Pa.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman speaks at a rally in Blue Bell, Pa., on Sept. 11.Michelle Gustafson / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Democratic fundraising skyrockets in key Senate races

Some candidates have doubled their fundraising hauls from the previous quarter.

By and

Key Democratic Senate hopefuls are announcing huge hauls for the third fundraising quarter, continuing the trend of Democratic candidates amassing massive resources ahead of Election Day.

Candidates regularly see a jump in the third fundraising quarter — with the primary in the past, campaigns start recharging their warchests for the home stretch, with voters getting more engaged in the election once it starts drawing nearer. Nowhere was that more clear last cycle than in South Carolina, where Democrat Jaime Harrison raised a record-breaking $58 million in the third quarter. 

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., leads the pack so far with $26.3 million raised from July through September, an increase from the already weighty $17.2 million he reported raising in the second fundraising quarter. 

Other Democratic campaigns are out with eye-popping hauls too, in some cases doubling their second quarter hauls — Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman’s $22 million (compared to $11 million in the second quarter); Wisconsin Democrat Mandela Barnes’ $20.1 million (compared to $2.1 million in the second quarter); Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan’s $17.2 million ($8.6 million in the second quarter); and Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto’s $15 million ($7.5 million in the second quarter). 

Some Republicans are seeing big increases too, particularly the Republicans facing off against Warnock and Fetterman. 

Georgia Republican Herschel Walker’s campaign says it raised $12 million over that same period, an increase from the $5.8 million it reported for the second quarter. Pennsylvania Republican Mehmet Oz also saw a big boost with a $17.2 million quarter that includes a $7 million loan from the candidate himself (he raised $5.5 million in the second quarter, which included $3.2 in candidate loans). 

More numbers are trickling in ahead of next week’s filing deadline (right now, these figures are courtesy of campaigns announcing their hauls publicly, not definitive public filings. Campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 15). But it’s clear that the third quarter was a boon for many key Democratic candidates. 

That money can help these candidates launch TV ads to combat a surge in outside spending in their races. But strong fundraising, of course, doesn’t always mean a candidate will win. Harrison, who had that record-breaking haul in 2020, lost to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., by 10 percentage points.