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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Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.