Today’s Hotline features a complete third-quarter Senate fundraising chart. Here are the buried nuggets:
— Hey, big spenders. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) nearly spent as much money ($2.07 million) as he brought in ($2.27 million), leaving him with a still-imposing $9.76 million cash on hand. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has been infamous for his free-spending campaign habits, leading 2014 Democrats (again) in that category ($1.17 million), despite not being a top target. And Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander is taking his primary challenge seriously, spending significantly more ($1.15 million) than he brought in.
— Paging Linda McMahon. The wealthiest self-funders include: former GOP Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land ($1 million), McConnell’s tea-party challenger Matt Bevin ($600,000), Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue ($500,000) and North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis ($250,000). Also on the list: New Hampshire Senate candidate Jim Rubens (R), a businessman and former state senator whose campaign hasn’t gotten much attention.
— Running on empty. Several prominent senators and challengers don’t have as much cash-on-hand as expected. That list would include Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R), a retirement possibility, who only raised $53,000 and banked $803,000. Cochran, if he runs, would be facing a tea party-aligned opponent. Despite being in Congress since 2007, GOP Rep. Paul Broun only has banked $447,000 for the Georgia Senate race. Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) only has $771,000 in her account, against appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D), who banked over $2 million.
And the top fundraisers? Among Dem challengers, it’s Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes, who raised more than any other Senate candidate in 2014. For Republican challengers, it’s Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, who topped $1-million mark. Among incumbents, McConnell led the way for Republicans, and Franken and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) were the Dem winners.
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The Democratic National Committee sued the Republican National Committee in U.S. District Court in New Jersey for aiding GOP nominee Donald Trump as he argues that the presidential election is "rigged." The DNC claims "that Trump's argument is designed to suppress the vote in minority communities."
"Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to spend "years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton." Chaffetz told the Washington Post: “It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
Priorities USA, the super PAC aligned with the Clinton campaign, which has already gotten involved in two Senate races, is now expanding into House races. The group released a 30 second spot which serves to hit Donald Trump and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, who is in a tough race to win re-election in Iowa's first congressional district. The super PAC's expansion into House and Senate races shows a high level of confidence in Clinton's standing against Trump.