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We’re Waiting

Thad Cochran (R-MS) listens during a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9, 2009.                                                                                                                                                                                
National Journal
Julie Sobel
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Julie Sobel
Jan. 16, 2014, 6:40 a.m.

On Wed­nes­day, we re­viewed the strongest fourth quarter fun­drais­ing num­bers re­por­ted to date. But about halfway through Janu­ary, there are a slew of num­bers we’re still eagerly an­ti­cip­at­ing from Sen­ate hope­fuls across the coun­try. Here’s a look at the some of the big ques­tion marks still out there.

— Ra­dio si­lence. We’re still wait­ing for num­bers in some of the cycle’s mar­quee Sen­ate races. In the hotly-con­tested Ken­tucky race, there’s been no word yet from Mitch Mc­Con­nell (R) or his likely Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ent Al­lis­on Lun­der­gan Grimes. Grimes and Mc­Con­nell both raked in more than $2 mil­lion in the third quarter, with Grimes out­rais­ing the Sen­ate minor­ity lead­er. Armed with some of Eliza­beth War­ren‘s (D-MA) fun­drais­ing team, can she keep it up? We did hear from Mc­Con­nell’s primary chal­lenger, busi­ness­man Matt Bev­in (R), who brought in a sol­id $900,000. North Car­o­lina is also ex­pec­ted to play host to a highly com­pet­it­ive race, and thus far neither Sen. Kay Hagan (D) nor any­one in the very crowded GOP field has an­nounced their haul. Hagan, a sol­id fun­draiser, will likely have an­oth­er strong quarter, but will Thom Tillis (R) im­prove on his less-than-im­press­ive third quarter?

— Primary chal­lengers. Launch­ing a primary chal­lenge to a sit­ting sen­at­or can get you buzz — but we’re about to find out which of these chal­lengers can back it up. It’s the first quarter we’ll see num­bers for Milton Wolf, the Kan­sas phys­i­cian (and dis­tant Obama cous­in) chal­len­ging Sen. Pat Roberts (R). In Mis­sis­sippi, the same goes for state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who has the back­ing of sev­er­al out­side groups (mean­while, Sen. Thad Co­chran (R-MS) needs to dra­mat­ic­ally im­prove on his third-quarter num­bers now that he’s con­firmed he’s run­ning for reelec­tion). And an­oth­er primary to watch the num­bers in: Hawaii, where Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) is run­ning against ap­poin­ted Sen. Bri­an Schatz (D). Schatz out­raised the con­gress­wo­man last time around — will he so­lid­i­fy his lead or can she keep the money race close?

— Time to per­form. As we poin­ted out Wed­nes­day, Alaska‘s Dan Sul­li­van had a very strong first quarter of fun­drais­ing, and we haven’t heard from Lt. Gov. Mead Tread­well (R), the oth­er GOP es­tab­lish­ment can­did­ate in the race. But in the third quarter, the LG raised far less than what Sul­li­van did in the fourth. Has he been able to step it up and get any­where close to Sul­li­van’s im­press­ive haul? And in Neb­raska, will Shane Os­born (R) show he can raise the money needed to com­pete with Ben Sas­se (R), who had a block­buster third quarter and is get­ting group sup­port (and some na­tion­al buzz)?

We’ve heard from a lot of win­ners so far. As we creep closer to the re­port­ing dead­line, we can ex­pect to see some fun­drais­ing losers as well. Stay tuned.

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