Democratic Senate candidates and incumbents raking in the cash
Vulnerable Democratic Senators as well as Democratic candidates for open seats had very strong fundraising numbers in the most recent quairter.
Senate Democrats kept up their brisk fundraising pace in the second quarter, putting themselves in a strong financial position as they head into 2014.Several Democrats facing potentially tough reelection battles have raised more than $1 million in the last three months.
They include Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.), both of whom brought in around $2 million.
Others topping the $1 million mark include Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who brought in $1.7 million, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who raised $1.4 million, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who raised $1.3 million, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) who raised $1.2 million.
Democratsic candidates making first-time Senate bids posted big numbers as well. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) brought in $1.25 million while Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) raised $1 million. Both are expected to be their party's nominees.
Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), two of the GOP's top targets along with Landrieu and Hagan, have yet to report their fundraising totals.
Campaigns often delay reporting their quarterly fundraising numbers if they're not very strong, but Begich waited until the last minute in the first three months of 2013, and still raised a respectable $950,000.
It would be surprising if Pryor matches the $2 million haul he managed last quarter, as that was aided by a $1 million fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton.
The other candidates' quarters put them in solid financial shape.
Landrieu now has $4.9 million in the bank, while Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has $3.2 million cash on hand after a strong $1.1 million quarter.
Franken now has $3 million in the bank -- money that will come in handy, as his most likely opponent, businessman Mike McFadden (R), raised $700,000 in the first month of the campaign alone.
Braley's strong showing in Iowa does not bode well for Republicans who wish to win the seat held by retiring Tom Harkin. And the most vulnerable Democratic Senators - Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor - are outpacing their GOP opponents, although Republican Rep. Cassidy is doing better than expected.
We're still almost a year out from primary season, but the trends need to be reversed if Republicans are going to have a shot at taking the Senate.