by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Republican Senate majority is in jeopardy of being washed away by a torrent of resources amassed by Democratic challengers in the third quarter, with GOP incumbents bracing to be vastly outspent in the final month of the campaign.
Democratic candidates are raising hundreds of millions of dollars. Even previously overlooked challengers saw their coffers swell with contributions from energized grassroots liberals in July, August, and September, turning sleepy Senate races into a potential nightmare for sitting Republicans and the party’s precarious three-seat majority.
It’s no longer just Arizona, Colorado, and Maine, blue-trending battlegrounds where Republicans were prepared for a dogfight from the beginning of the 2020 cycle — or purple states such as Iowa and North Carolina. They are now looking over their shoulder in typically ruby-red territory such as Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, and South Carolina.
“The numbers are astounding,” GOP operative Doug Heye said. “Republicans are right to be concerned.”
Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, dismissed the Democrats’ third-quarter haul as tainted by “dark money” from super PACs and “special interests.” He said it is “undermining some of their candidates’ credibility.”
Third-quarter fundraising totals are not due to be released until Oct. 15. But Democrats have begun publicizing their numbers. …
… Even in Texas, a race where Republican Sen. John Cornyn is favored and that has received little attention, Democratic challenger MJ Hegar raised $13.5 million. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Democrat Cal Cunningham raised $28.3 million. The only thing that might save Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, GOP insiders say, is that Cunningham is now facing questions about possibly multiple extramarital affairs.
But despite possibly catching a break in North Carolina, Republican strategists say the potential for a wipeout has increased significantly given the resources Democrats have collected.