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National Democratic groups raise big money, but so do GOP candidates

By Aaron Blake
The Democratic Party's campaign committees significantly outpaced their GOP counterparts in recent weeks, according to the most recent financial reports, but Republican candidates and outside groups are more than making up the difference.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is charged with keeping Democrats in control of that chamber, announced Friday that it raised $15.5 million in September -- nearly twice as much as its Republican counterpart. Meanwhile, in the House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised Republicans, $15.9 million to $11.2 million.

Both the DSCC and DCCC received large cash infusions from the Democratic National Committee, which helped their totals.

But whatever spending advantage the committees will have down the stretch, strong fundraising from top Republican candidates will help offset it. And spending from outside groups should tip the scales strongly in the GOP's favor.

With Republicans targeting upwards of 13 Senate seats and 70 House seats, their candidates turned in strong reports in their last full quarter of fundraising. Reports for all candidates are due by midnight Friday.

In Washington state, Dino Rossi (R) outraised Sen. Patty Murray (D) $4.4 million to $3.3 million for the quarter, according to totals announced by the candidates. It was a similar story in Arkansas, where Rep. John Boozman (R) outraised Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) $1.65 million to $848,000. Boozman is a strong favorite in November, as is former Sen. Dan Coats (R), who outraised Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) 4-to-1 in an open Senate race in Indiana.

Nevada Republican Senate candidate and tea-party favorite Sharron Angle announced earlier this week that she raised $14.3 million in the third quarter. She spent $12 million of that over the same span. Both totals were much higher than that of her opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who raised $2.8 million and spent nearly $8 million.

Other top Senate races were much closer.

In Pennsylvania, former congressman Pat Toomey (R) continued to outraise Rep. Joe Sestak (D), but he did so by a much smaller margin than in previous quarters -- $3.8 million to $3.3 million.

In California, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) brought in $6.2 million to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina's (R) $5.9 million. Fiorina also announced another $3 million raised through a joint committee she has with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Republican Senate candidates outraised Democrats in Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Ohio -- all GOP-held seats they are favored to retain.

In the House, top fundraisers included Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and her opponent, who raised $5.4 million and $1.8 million, respectively. South Dakota state Rep. Kristi Noem (R) raised $1.1 million for her challenge to Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D), and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West (R) raised $1.7 million for his run against Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.).

In other news this week, Republicans learned that a GOP-leaning outside group, American Crossroads, is exceeding its fundraising goals and will spend additional money on top House races. Crossroads is one of many Republican-leaning groups flooding the airwaves in key states and districts.

Meanwhile, a similar Democratic effort, called America's Families First, is working on a much smaller scale and recently scaled back the number of House seats where it plans to spend money.

By Aaron Blake  | October 15, 2010; 6:57 PM ET
Categories:  House, Senate  
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Next: Democratic National Committee transfers total $20 million

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