What’s sticking out in the flood of fundraising numbers coming out this month? The Hotline found plenty to buy and sell in these reports:
— Senate. The most glaring fundraising disparity of the quarter was in North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan‘s (D) $3.6 million far outpaced the $1.6 million Thom Tillis raised, as the state House speaker toils in an extended special legislative session. The other EMILY’s List nominees in Georgia and Kentucky raised about as much or more. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) outraised Sen. Mark Pryor (D) again, and state Sen. Joni Ernst‘s (R) quarter in Iowa was important considering her previous fundraising struggles — but even though she bested Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), she still has catching up to do in cash on hand.
— House. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) ($742,000) and challenger Andrew Romanoff (D) ($842,000) are both winners: They’re keeping pace with each other and might be the best-equipped opponents out there to define themselves in outside spending-dominated House races. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s (D-FL) continued strong fundraising ($752,000) has helped keep his race quiet, while Rep. Chris Gibson‘s (R-NY) $819,000 quarter was especially important given Sean Eldridge‘s (D) self-funding ability. But further south in New York, Rep. Michael Grimm‘s (R) paltry $71,000 means he might run out of money quickly in the fall — when outside help might not be there, either.
— Governors. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who raised $8.2 million from January through June, is a sound stand-in for the ranks of incumbent guvs vastly outraising their competition. (Mary Burke (D) raised $3.6 million and trails Walker in cash 3-to-1.) Georgia state Sen. Jason Carter (D) was one of the few to buck the trend. But in Massachusetts, favorite Martha Coakley‘s (D) efforts have been underwhelming, both compared to Democratic rivals and especially to Charlie Baker (R).
Candidate fundraising doesn’t mean what it used to, but it’s still important — and more than a few candidates have something to celebrate or mourn in the recent reports.
— Hotline Staff
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Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
"A bill to help Puerto Rico handle its $70 billion debt crisis is facing an uncertain future in the Senate. No Senate Democrats have endorsed a bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while some are actively fighting it. ... On the Republican side, senators say they’re hopeful to pass a bill but don’t know if they can support the current legislation — which is expected to win House approval given its backing from leaders in that chamber."
"Congress abandoned the Capitol Thursday for an almost two-week break without addressing how to combat Zika, even as public health officials issue dire warnings about the spread of the mosquito-driven virus with summer approaching. ... Instead of racing to fund efforts to thwart a potential health crisis, lawmakers are treating the Zika debate like regular legislation, approving Thursday the establishment of a House-Senate committee to hammer out differences in their competing bills."
Donald Trump may have defeated Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential ambitions, but he wants the man he dubbed Little Marco to keep his job in the Senate. "Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida," Trump tweeted Thursday evening. "Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!" Trump is not the first to urge Rubio to run, though the senator has said such a move is unlikely. The filing deadline is June 24.
President Obama called for an end to nuclear weapons Friday during a somber visit to Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan, where the United States dropped the first atomic bomb 71 years ago. "That is the future we can choose,” Obama said. “A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not for the bomb of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”