GOP Senate candidates significantly underfunded compared with Democrat rivals in key states

Recently Breitbart performed a comparative study of fundraising and spending between Republicans and Democrats for key midterm races.

As expected GOP was outspent and outraised by a wide margin. 

Start with Arizona.

How much was spent?

GOP candidate Blake Masters spent about $1.00 for every $7.50 spent by sitting Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly. 

OpenSecrets revealed that Kelly spent $73,477,987 in his successful reelection bid, while Masters only spent $9,412,054.

How much was raised?

Kelly raised an astounding $79.3 million, while Masters managed to raise a mere $12 million.

To make matter worse, Arizona took ages to count their votes, causing some to speculate that fraud may have occurred behind the scenes. (Editor's note: See also Jay Valentine's article on that in today's AT here).

Kelly won the race, he received around 52 percent of the mandate, i.e., 1,322,026 votes, while Masters managed 46.5% percent of the mandate, i.e., 1,196,308 votes.

Now let's look at Ohio.

How much was spent?

Sitting Democrat Sen. Tim Ryan spent $44.5 million, while Republican J.D. Vance spent only $9 million, meaning, the Republican challenger spent roughly $1.00 for every $4.90 that his Democrat opponent spent.

How much was raised?

OpenSecrets revealed that Vance raised $12 million while Ryan raised $47.3 million. Ryan was raised roughly four times more than Vance.

Despite all his shortcomings, Vance won the race, perhaps because there are no discrepancies in counting.

Vance received around 53 percent of the mandate, i.e., 2,147,898 votes, while Ryan managed 46.7% percent of the mandate, i.e., 1,883,223.

Let's also look at Nevada.

How much was raised?

According to OpenSecrets, Democrat sitting Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto raised $52.8 million while Republican Adam Laxalt raised $15.5 million. The Democrats raised three times more money than the Republicans.

How much was spent?

Cortez Masto spent $46.6 million while Laxalt spent $12.3 million. Laxalt spent approximately $1.00 for every $3.80 spent by Cortez Masto.

In the end, Catherine Cortez Masto won 48.9% of the mandate with 493,443 votes while Adam Laxalt secured 48.9% of the mandate with 484,436 votes. The victory for Cortez Masto was by a very narrow margin.

Now for another Senate race in Nevada:

The contest was between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd.

How much was raised?

OpenSecrets revealed that Beasley raised $33.8 million while Budd raised just over $12.4 million. Beasley raised thrice the amount that Budd raised. 

How much was spent?

Democrat Cheri Beasley spent $30.8 million while Ted Budd spent $12.3 million. The ratio between Beasley and Budd is roughly 3:1.

Despite being significantly outspent, GOP Candidate Ted Budd won comfortably 50.5% of the mandate with 19,05,786 votes while Cheri Beasley secured 47.3% of the mandate with 17,84,049 votes.

And let's look at Georgia.

In this high-profile U.S. Senate race, which is headed to a runoff, Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock vastly outraised and outspent his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. 

How much was raised?

OpenSecrets reveals that Warnock raised $98.6 million while Walker raised only $37.4 million. 

How much was spent?

Warnock spent $75.9 million, and Walker spent less than half as much as Warnock, at just over $32 million. 

Despite Walker, who has national name recognition due to his sports career, having significantly less cash than his Democrat opponent, he still raised roughly three times the funds that Masters or Vance did and twice as much as Ted Budd did. 

Now for the Georgia runoff:

Warnock still has $29 million on hand, while Walker has $9.8 million.

Warnock raised more than $52 million since late October, while Walker has raised less than half of that amount, approximately $21 million at the same time.

And Pennsylvania?

How much was raised?

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz raised $40 million while Democrat John Fetterman raised more than $56 million.

Oz, who once again had national name recognition raised more funds compared with his lesser-known colleagues Masters, Vance, and Budd.

How much was spent?

Fetterman spent $52,148,697, while Dr. Oz spent $37,739,643.

In the end, despite his severe impairments, Fetterman won 51.2% of the mandate, i.e., 2,747,601 votes while losing candidate Oz secured 46.3% of the mandate, i.e., 2,484,096 votes.

Let's also look at Alaska.

How much was raised?

Establishment candidate and incumbent Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski raised $10,779,675 while Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka raised $4,847,916.

How much was spent?

Murkowski spent $8,673,228 while Tshibaka spent $4,155,488.

In terms of fundraising and expenditures, the ratio between Murkowski and Tshibaka was 2:1.

Murkowski won 51.2% of the mandate, i.e., 135,972 votes, while losing candidate Tshibaka secured 46.3% of the mandate, i.e., 117,299 votes.

Significant blame regarding this disparity in funds must go to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

During the crucial final stages of the Senate Race in Arizona, the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with McConnell, canceled a $9.6 million ad buy for the Republican candidate, Masters. 

Why is funding so important?

Every occurrence in the campaign needs funds. It pays wages for party workers who can campaign from door to door. It pays for campaign material.  

For candidates with relatively less name recognition, funds can make the difference. When Democrats fund attack advertisements, the GOP can respond with another advert in the same forum.

This disparity in funding probably explains why Republicans had so many disappointments during the midterms. In the end the best candidate in the world is worthless if there is no money to spend that will educate voters about the candidate's value to voters.

But that wasn’t all.

A few months ago McConnell unwittingly showed his true intentions when he engaged in a veiled attack on MAGA Senate candidates.

McConnell said that "there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they're statewide, and candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."

McConnell was conceding defeat, months before the contest began, and this was shocking and unprecedented.

In politics, even the worse candidates and their party leaders express optimism and confidence about their electoral prospects -- no matter how strong or weak they are. 

It was almost like McConnell had no desire to win.

This was a calculated move.

McConnell knew victories in Senate races would be seen as a mandate for MAGA, and would have made his chances of remaining Senate Leader very slim. Losing the Senate was advantageous to him. The narrative was pushed that this was a rejection of Trump and MAGA, which is conveniently interpreted as a mandate for the establishment, i.e., McConnell. 

A midterm loss for the GOP is a win for McConnell.

Some GOP senators had demanded that the Senate leadership elections be postponed which would give time for other leadership candidates to push their message and for the results of the Georgia run-off race to be out.

But their demands were purposefully ignored and the contest between McConnell and Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott was held.

This too was a premeditated move.

The lack of time for a campaign gave the incumbent McConnell an advantage.

Thirty-seven senators voted for McConnell while ten senators voted for Scott and one senator voted present in a secret-ballot election.

Mitch McConnell has at least two more years as Senate Minority Leader, this give him ample opportunity to dispatch billions more to Ukraine and other pet Democrat projects.

If funds remain, they may be spent for the well-being of citizens.

Image: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

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