Government & Politics

Senate GOP raises $6 million in August, spends $13 million


WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, which is looking to topple Democrats from their majority in November’s elections, spent almost $13 million last month, committee aides said Friday.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised about $6 million in August and still has close to $20 million ready to spend, mostly on more ads against Democrats. Campaign committees typically unload their cash stockpiles in August and September to pay for television ads, and the Republicans’ heavy spending was widely expected.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s reports were not ready for release on Friday. Party-run campaign committees have until Sept. 20 to report their August finances.

Heading into August, the Democrats’ campaign arm had bested the GOP’s efforts in 17 of the previous 19 months. The Democrats began August with almost $32 million saved but has begun spending heavily to help some of their most endangered incumbents.

Republicans are increasingly optimistic that they can pick up the net of six seats needed to capture the Senate majority for the first time since the 2006 elections, when unpopular President George W. Bush was a drag on the party during his sixth year in office.

Now at the same point in his presidency, a similarly unpopular Barack Obama is a burden for Democrats in tough races.

The party in control of the White House typically loses seats at this point in a presidency, and Democrats have aggressively been raising money to stem their losses.

Including August’s fundraising, the Republicans’ Senate operation has raised more than $81 million. Without August’s fundraising, the Democrats have raised $103 million.