The difference between having Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on your side and not is blatantly evident in the pre-runoff fundraising reports for the Alabama Senate special election.
In the fight for the Republican nomination, which will be decided Tuesday, Sen. Luther Strange out-raised former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore by $500,000 from July 27 to Sept. 6. Much of that margin came from 140 donations from corporate PACs and fellow senators, which totaled $367,000. Additionally, Strange received more than 70 individual contributions from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, mostly from lobbyists, consultants, and attorneys. Even NRSC executive director Chris Hansen threw in $1,000.
Compare that to Moore, who received a single PAC donation—$5,000 from the National Association for Gun Rights—and no individual contributions from anyone with a D.C. address. Moore’s edge was in donations under $200, bringing in $378,000 to just $26,000 for Strange.
Of course, that’s just candidate money. Strange’s financial advantage extends to outside spending, with backing from the Senate Leadership Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the NRA.
— Kyle Trygstad