As outside-group crossfire blasts through two Senate races, candidates aren’t just raising money early — they’re spending it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., don’t have opponents yet, but both are already participating in an ad war unleashed exceedingly early in the cycle, starting 20 months before Election Day in one case.
With the close of the second fundraising quarter on June 30, the threat — and, for those two, the reality — of early attacks reinforces the need for candidates to lay the groundwork now for an expensive election season that’s grown longer in recent years.
It’s why national Democrats, who are defending most of the vulnerable seats up this cycle, have increasingly pushed their incumbents to raise money early. And Republican challengers, even those who haven’t officially announced, must begin socking away for next year.
After losing two seats last cycle, Republicans must add a net of six seats to take the majority.
Fundraising reports covering April through June are due to the Federal Election Commission by July 15. The toplines will shine a spotlight on incumbents’ financial positioning, indicate who has a head start in primaries and provide clues about who is moving closer to a Senate bid.
Here is what to watch for as reports begin rolling in over the next two weeks: Full story