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Big Bucks Already in McConnell's Coffers

March 13, 2012
Our colleague Dan Friedman reports on how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is already gearing up for his 2014 election campaign, "building a fundraising juggernaut and organization he hopes is daunting to potential challengers, both Democratic and would-be primary foes."

Friedman has more (for members):

McConnell ended 2011 with $4.25 million cash on hand. He raised more than $1 million in the final quarter, a big haul almost three years before he's up for reelection. He will likely crack $5 million in the bank when he reports his first-quarter figures to the Federal Election Commission next month.

Aides say McConnell, who spends hours dialing for dollars once the Senate wraps up nightly, has nearly twice what he had raised for the comparable period before his 2008 reelection; he ultimately raised more than $21 million in that campaign. McConnell is also on pace to have double what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., began 2009 with for his 2010 reelection bid. Reid eventually raised about $25 million.

GOP strategists said McConnell's last race, Reid's tough reelection contest, and recent presidential campaigns are the main models for McConnell's 2014 bid.

"He's prepared to build a presidential-level campaign for 2014," said Josh Holmes, McConnell's Washington chief of staff.

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