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Competitive Senate Races Are Drawing Big Campaign Money

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On Thursday, 12 days before the election, all the presidential and congressional candidates will file finance reports with the Federal Election Commission, which will give the public a detailed look at their fundraising and spending for the first part of October.1

Candidates for president and the House submit their reports electronically, so we’ll be able to see them as soon as they’re filed. Not so for the Senate, which insists that its candidates print out their reports and submit them on paper.2 The Senate filing details are then entered manually before the data is made public. As a result, we won’t have updated fundraising and spending details for those candidates until close to, or in some cases after, Election Day.

The most up-to-date numbers we have for Senate candidates, then, are those through Sept. 30. Some of the highlights:

  • In Wisconsin, the candidates — the Republican incumbent, Ron Johnson, and the Democrat, former Sen. Russ Feingold — have a combined cash on hand of more than $10 million, split about evenly between the two candidates. That’s the most of any of the competitive Senate races.
  • In Pennsylvania, the incumbent, Republican Pat Toomey, has more than twice as much cash on hand as the Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty.
  • In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio entered October with about $2.7 million more in the bank than his Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy.
  • Chuck Schumer of New York, the incumbent Democrat and a prodigious fundraiser, isn’t expected to have any trouble keeping his seat but is also near the top of the list for cash raised. He is expected to use some of that money to help fellow Democrats in more competitive races, which will help generate loyalty assuming he becomes the Senate Democratic leader, as expected.

Here’s what each major-party Senate candidate has raised from individuals over the past two years, as well as how much cash on hand each had going into October:

WI D Russ Feingold $18,552,952 $4,825,737
PA R Pat Toomey 14,033,869 6,186,568
NY D Chuck Schumer 13,076,558 20,515,687
OH R Rob Portman 12,820,582 7,730,090
WI R Ron Johnson 12,448,870 5,370,488
CA D Kamala Harris 12,198,967 4,041,755
IL D Tammy Duckworth 11,168,670 4,322,906
NV D Catherine Cortez Masto 10,885,353 2,250,349
FL D Patrick Murphy 10,880,381 2,783,350
NH D Maggie Hassan 10,772,018 3,148,144
PA D Katie McGinty 10,227,900 2,432,952
NH R Kelly Ayotte 10,184,678 4,532,045
CO D Michael Bennet 9,898,846 3,600,073
FL R Marco Rubio 8,862,638 5,500,538
OH D Ted Strickland 8,037,344 1,402,926
MD D Chris Van Hollen 7,900,838 1,457,789
MO D Jason Kander 7,760,834 3,494,708
AZ R John McCain 7,625,254 4,629,675
NC D Deborah Ross 7,549,043 1,140,453
AZ D Ann Kirkpatrick 6,631,946 1,517,756
NV R Joe Heck 6,344,379 3,331,698
NC R Richard Burr 5,917,362 7,175,909
WA D Patty Murray 5,864,942 4,803,782
OR D Ron Wyden 5,765,903 3,804,862
MO R Roy Blunt 5,642,643 4,089,549
IN R Todd Young 5,545,009 1,582,394
IA R Chuck Grassley 5,276,839 3,835,600
CT D Richard Blumenthal 5,193,367 4,710,566
GA R Johnny Isakson 4,913,116 2,289,526
IL R Mark Kirk 4,885,242 1,370,849
LA R Charles Boustany 3,078,966 1,030,021
SC R Tim Scott 3,007,136 5,599,861
CO R Darryl Glenn 2,948,410 1,907,908
UT R Mike Lee 2,666,363 1,042,179
CA D Loretta Sanchez 2,661,718 879,407
LA R John Neely Kennedy 2,483,801 1,341,092
VT D Patrick Leahy 2,397,359 2,946,220
KY R Rand Paul 2,362,414 1,804,722
AK R Lisa Murkowski 2,236,372 1,585,682
SD R John Thune 2,160,800 10,764,152
HI D Brian Schatz 2,063,573 2,219,316
KS R Jerry Moran 2,005,231 2,655,389
AR R John Boozman 1,964,724 1,677,520
ID R Mike Crapo 1,742,134 4,380,269
IN D Evan Bayh 1,712,036 5,402,263
AL R Richard Shelby 1,642,441 9,855,291
OK R James Lankford 1,591,029 1,290,055
LA R John Fleming 1,550,389 1,057,999
IA D Patty Judge 1,547,020 374,210
AR D Conner Eldridge 1,399,559 63,256
MD R Kathy Szeliga 1,266,084 360,954
ND R John Hoeven 1,195,858 2,035,157
LA D Foster Campbell 789,955 988,400
LA D Cathryn Fayard 644,254 199,593
NY R Wendy Long 469,291 21,610
GA D Jim Barksdale 451,400 837,194
WA R Chris Vance 400,458 30,986
ID D Jerry Sturgill 382,058 271,539
CT R Dan Carter 188,170 35,014
LA R David Duke 99,869 37,856
UT D Misty Snow 49,612 8,294
SD D Jay Williams 40,111 24,375
OR R Mark Callahan 23,176 2,920
SC D Thomas Dixon 17,001 2,572
ND D Eliot Glassheim 13,259 5,475
AK D Ray Metcalfe 6,616 4,923
KS D Patrick Wiesner 4,565 1,315
HI R John Carroll 0 1,330
VT R Scott Milne 0 34,414

Numbers are through Sept. 30. Individual contributions include those given since the beginning of 2015, minus refunds. Up-to-date data is not always available for every candidate.

Source: Federal Election Commission


  1. The filings cover Oct. 1 through Oct. 19.

  2. Senate candidates can voluntarily submit their filings electronically as well, but those reports are unofficial; they still have to file them on paper.

Aaron Bycoffe is a computational journalist for FiveThirtyEight.