Senate 2022 fundraising fight heats up

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With the Senate Democrats' razor-thin majority in the chamber up for grabs in next year's midterm elections, the race between the Democratic and GOP Senate reelection arms is already igniting.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) announced on Thursday that it hauled in $7.2 million in February, topping the rival National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which brought in just over $6.4 million last month.

"The DSCC is starting this cycle with clear momentum, and we're hitting the ground running to defend and expand our majority," DSCC chair Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan touted in statement.

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NRSC chair Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, speaking with reporters on Wednesday evening, highlighted that they are "doing unbelievably well" with their fundraising overall.

Both committees showcased their small-dollar grassroots contributions.

The DSCC noted that nearly two-thirds of their haul came from grassroots online donations, and that the average online contribution was $24. "This record-breaking haul makes clear that our grassroots community of small-dollar donors remains energized about winning in 2022," Peters said.

The NRSC highlighted that half of their February fundraising came from grassroots online donations and that its average contribution last month was $32. "With more than half of February donations coming from online contributions, it’s clear the grassroots energy is behind Senate Republicans and our pro-family, pro-America agenda in 2022," Scott touted last week.

The NRSC said it ended February with $15 million cash on hand, with the DSCC entering March with $10.2 million in the bank.

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While the DSCC won the bragging rights for February, the NRSC outraised their Democratic rivals in January – $8.3 million to $6.1 million. By then Scott was already in place as the Senate GOP reelection chair, but Peters didn't take over steering the Democrats' Senate reelection arm until the end of the month.

Fundraising doesn't appear to be an issue for Senate Republicans, despite fears of a pledge made by some top-dollar donors and corporate political action committees to stop contributions to the GOP lawmakers who on Jan. 6 – hours after insurrection by right wing extremists at the U.S. Capitol – objected to the congressional certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory. Scott was among those Republican lawmakers who objected.

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The Senate is currently split 50-50 between the two parties, but the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority, due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as president of the Senate. That means the GOP only needs a one-seat pickup to regain the majority.

But Republicans are defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in 2022, including open seats in the key battlegrounds of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as in Ohio, Missouri and Alabama. While playing defense, the NRSC sees opportunities to flip blue seats in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada.

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