Marco Rubio is leading the way in Florida, raising more than $3 million to his Democratic opponent's $1 million. And the same holds true for other GOP hopefuls running in states where no incumbent is on the ballot:
Republicans in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania also out-raised their rivals in the period from April 1 through June 30. A backlash against Democrats, who control Congress and the White House, may be boosting fundraising for Republicans such as Rubio, a former state house speaker.
"The wind is to their back," Clyde Wilcox, a government professor at Georgetown University in Washington, said regarding the Republicans. Still, he cautioned that the political climate could change before the November elections, and that Democrats are working to make races more about local concerns than national issues.
Democrats fared better in places where incumbents are battling to retain their seats. Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, California Senator Barbara Boxer and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet brought in more campaign cash than Republican challengers during the period.
In Pennsylvania, former Republican Representative Patrick Toomey said he raised $3.1 million in the quarter, compared with almost $2 million for Democratic Representative Joe Sestak. Sestak's campaign said he raised about $1.6 million in June, buoyed by a May 18 primary win over Senator Arlen Specter.
Illinois Republican Representative Mark Kirk raised $2.3 million, compared with about $900,000 for Illinois treasurer and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, their campaigns said. They are vying for the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama and now occupied by Democrat Roland Burris, who isn't seeking re- election.
Republicans in open states have a definite advantage, although the polls in IL, MO, and PA show the races in a virtual dead heat. Factors like the economy and the perceived overreach of the Democrats will probably come into play when people really start to pay attention to politics in October.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky