Fri October 11, 2013
Senator Mitch McConnell Hauls in $2.3 Million for Re-Election
In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, the campaign to re-elect Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday it raised $2.3 million in the past three months.
This represents McConnell's strongest quarter to date as the incumbent seeks a sixth term in office.
Overall McConnell has garnered a total of $17.7 million towards next year's election and will report just under $10 million in cash on hand.
McConnell's impressive fundraising haul was the focus of a story in The Courier-Journal, which found the overwhelming majority of contributors are outside the state.
That may explain the McConnell campaign highlighting its "low-dollar" donations from 6,000 individuals with a median $50 contribution.
"Sen. McConnell enjoys broad support from Kentuckians and Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life who appreciate his hard work and principled conservative leadership," says McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton. "We are running a presidential-level campaign designed to withstand the millions of dollars in attack ads coming from out-of-state groups and deliver Senator McConnell's message directly to Kentucky voters."
These totals also put McConnell well ahead of his GOP primary opponent Matt Bevin, who will report nearly $825,000 raised, which is mostly from the candidate's personal wealth.
In the past two months, the Bevin campaign says it brought in $822,021 with individuals and political action committees representing $222,021 in contributions. It is presumed that Bevin, a Louisville businessman and investor, provided the remaining $600,000.
Supporters point to their candidates low name id, and Bevin's campaign argues the is well on pace with other insurgent candidates who went on to become GOP senators such as the $250,000 raised by Marco Rubio of Florida in 2010.
It also surpasses the $116,000 generated by Mike Lee of Utah in their respective campaigns.
Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has yet to announce any fundraising totals, but her campaign did take jabs at McConnell for burning through cash while holding low approval numbers.
"As the most unpopular Washington politician in the country, Senator McConnell is clearly more worried about the money in his campaign war chest than the U.S. Treasury. Rather than leading and negotiating to get our government back open, McConnell is focused on fundraising and begging the Supreme Court for unlimited million dollar checks," says Grimes advisor Jonathan Hurst. "It is no wonder he has had to spend an exorbitant amount of money. Unfortunately, his millions will not be enough to distract Kentuckians from his dismal 30-year Washington voting record."
National Republicans have put out extremely high expectations about Grimes' fundraising while Democrats point to lower figures by candidates in other Senate contests.