Senate Democrats fight back with balance sheet against GOP

Nationally, Democrats are having success raising money this fall, in their attempt to maintain control of the US Senate over Republicans.

A handful of US $100 bills is seen in this file photo. Senate Democrats are using effective fund raising nationally to combat large Republican war chests.

The Democrats' national fundraising organizations have become a silver lining for a beleaguered party that has its hands full with Republican-allied outside groups and well financed GOP candidates.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Friday reported a record $27 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, and entered the crucial final weeks of the election campaign with $25.6 million in the bank. The party's House equivalent, looking to stave off a Republican takeover, reported $41.6 million in the bank, more than twice the cash on hand reported by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The money offers a sharp counterpoint to Republican advantages elsewhere in the political landscape. Republican Senate candidates have maintained a slight fundraising edge over Democrats. But the biggest GOP boost has come from outside groups that have spent millions on advertising, much of it in money raised from undisclosed donors in unlimited amounts.

"As Republicans nominate extremists who want to return to the failed Bush economic policies of the past, Democrats are ready to fight," said DSCC executive director J.B. Poersch.

Early financial reports show that Republican candidates in some key Senate races outraised their Democratic opponents during the past three months and had more cash on hand heading into the crucial final weeks of the midterm election campaign.

In Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Roy Blunt Missouri reported $3.7 million in the bank at the end of September compared to $2.1 million for his Democratic opponent, Robin Carnahan. In New Hampshire, Republican Kelly Ayotte reported more than $1 million cash on hand; Democrat Paul Hodes had nearly $550,000 in hand at the end of September.

Indiana Republican Dan Coats raised more than $2 million from July to the end of September, more than four times the amount raised by Democrat Brad Ellsworth. Coats had $1.3 million in the bank on Oct. 1 to Ellsworth's $835,000.

Wisconsin Senate candidate Ron Johnson reported raising $3.3 million in the last quarter, with $2 million in the bank. Incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold had not yet reported his fundraising figures.

Earlier this week, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle announced she had raised $14 million during the quarter in her effort to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Angle, who has been spending heavily in the state, did not announce how much money she still had in the bank. Neither she nor Reid had yet to file their official reports.

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