PACs aligned with Se­nate Dems out­raise GOP coun­ter­parts

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Sean Sul­li­van Wash­ing­ton Post

Two af­fil­i­ated Demo­cratic groups try­ing to help their party win back the Se­nate ma­jor­ity raised $31.8 mil­lion dol­lars in 2017, the or­ga­ni­za­tions said, a record haul for an off-elec­tion year that edged out a clus­ter of sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tions on the Repub­li­can side, but the amount still left them at a cash dis­ad­van­tage headed into 2018.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity PAC, the top su­per PAC aligned with Se­nate Democrats, raised $21.7 mil­lion last year, the group said. Most of that to­tal — about $17.2 mil­lion — came dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year.

Ma­jor­ity For­ward, an af­fil­i­ated non­profit, brought in $10.1 mil­lion last year. To­gether, the two groups started 2018 with about $19.5 mil­lion in their ac­counts; $13.6 mil­lion for Se­nate Ma­jor­ity PAC and $5.9 mil­lion for Ma­jor­ity For­ward.

On the Repub­li­can side, the Se­nate Lead­er­ship Fund, One Na­tion and two other or­ga­ni­za­tions to­gether raised $31.6 mil­lion in 2017 and started this year with $23.9 mil­lion in the bank.

Democrats are fac­ing a dif­fi­cult midterm elec­tion map, de­fend­ing 26 seats in­clud­ing 10 in states Pres­i­dent Trump won. Repub­li­cans, who hold a 51-49 ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate, are only de­fend­ing eight seats.

But Trump’s un­pop­u­lar­ity and the strug­gles his­tor­i­cally ex­pe­ri­enced by a pres­i­dent’s party in his first midterm elec­tion have in­stilled con­fi­dence in Democrats over the last year that they have a chance to com­pete for con­trol of the up­per cham­ber.

“As the elec­tion of Sen­a­tor Doug Jones in Alabama showed, Democrats across the coun­try are en­thu­si­as­tic to get back to the polls and hold Pres­i­dent Trump and Leader McCon­nell ac­count­able,” J.B. Po­er­sch, the pres­i­dent of Se­nate Ma­jor­ity PAC and Ma­jor­ity For­ward, said in a state­ment.

Po­er­sch was re­fer­ring to the spe­cial elec­tion last year in which Jones de­feated em­bat­tled Repub­li­can Roy Moore, giv­ing Democrats a sur­prise win in a state that has long been in Repub­li­can hands.

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