The Washington Post

Winners and losers from the second quarter of fundraising

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, left, pose with Lisa Borders, a vice president at Coca Cola, during the opening of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta last month. (Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency)

Candidates for federal office were required to file their second-to-last quarterly financial reports before the November elections by midnight Tuesday. And buried within the reports are plenty of clues as to who's up and who's down heading into the stretch run.

Below, as usual, we highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the second quarter.

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments section.


Democratic women: Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes raised a whopping $4 million for her Senate campaign. Not far behind were Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina ($3.6 million) and Michelle Nunn in Georgia (nearly $3.5 million). That's more than $11 million in Democrats' two best pickup opportunities and arguably the most crucial state they are defending in the battle for the Senate. Then there's Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), who brought in $2.8 million and outpaced Republican former senator Scott Brown, a very talented fundraiser in his own right.

John Bolton: The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations isn't taken seriously as a potential GOP presidential candidate, but his name brings the dollars. His super PAC and personal political action committee combined to raise $2.3 million from more than 20,000 donors. It must be the mustache.

Dave Brat: What could be better than pulling the upset of the 2014 election and knocking off the sitting House majority leader (a guy named Eric Cantor)? Becoming a fundraising powerhouse. Brat raised nearly $400,000 in the final month-plus of the quarter -- a pace that would draw jealousy from many candidates for the upper chamber -- let alone a safe House seat that Brat will almost surely win in November.

Democratic legacies: We noted Nunn's numbers above, but how about two other members of famous political families in the Southeast? Jimmy Carter's grandson, state Sen. Jason Carter (D), handily outraised incumbent Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) in the second quarter, $2 million to $1.3 million. And attorney Gwen Graham (D), the daughter of former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), outraised incumbent Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) $573,000 to $421,000 in a battleground House district. On the GOP side, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), the daughter of a former governor, outpaced Secretary of State Natalie Tennant $1.3 million to $777,000. No word yet on George P. Bush's (R) bid for Texas land commissioner.

Rep. Chris Gibson: The New York Republican raised $819,000, outpacing Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge's $770,000 (which, by the way, included $375,000 of personal money). Eldridge, the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, has had his share of setbacks in the campaign. Gibson's strong quarter is clearly one more. Topping $800,000 is nearly unheard-of for a House candidate this early in the cycle.

Martha McSally: The retired Air Force colonel brought in $653,000 for her campaign against Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the House. Barber still has a cash-on-hand advantage, but McSally has been able to convince donors that she can close the deal the second time around, after a very close 2012 loss.

Bill Cassidy: The Louisiana GOP congressman didn't outraise Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in the second quarter, but he has made up significant ground when it comes to cash on hand -- thanks in large part to big spending by Landrieu. While Landrieu outraised him $2.1 million to $1.6 million, Cassidy trails by only about $400,000 in cash on hand, $6.2 million to $5.8 million, because Landrieu spent a whopping $3.4 million.


Newt Gingrich: The 2012 presidential candidate and current CNN "Crossfire" host has a major debt problem. And no, we're not talking about Tiffany's. His presidential campaign committee remains more than $4.7 million in debt. And that's only $85,000 less than it had at the start of 2013. At this rate, Gingrich's debt will be paid off shortly before the 22nd century. And that's actually true.

Michael Grimm: When the Staten Island GOP congressman isn't threatening to throw reporters off balconies or getting indicted, he used to be raising money. Not so anymore. Grimm raised only about $70,000 in the second quarter -- less than a quarter what he raised in any other quarter this election cycle. It seems donors are less apt to give to people facing allegations of campaign finance fraud. Or maybe he's just a little preoccupied.

Organizing for Action: The group designed to promote President Obama's agenda raised $3.9 million -- down from $5.9 million in the previous quarter. The group's fundraising has dropped in three of the past four quarters. In May, the group said it would stop soliciting money from large donors. It appears to have had the expected result.

Thom Tillis: On one hand, Tillis had his best quarter, raising $1.6 million. On the other, it was less than half what Hagan brought in. And she has opened up about a $7 million cash on hand advantage. In a state with fewer expensive media markets, $1.6 million would have been fine. But considering the pace Hagan has set and the cost of advertising in North Carolina, it's not great. Tillis's saving grace might be the barrage of outside spending on his behalf.

John Tierney: The Massachusetts congressman raised a solid $415,000 in the second quarter, but he was basically matched by his primary opponent, Seth Moulton ($414,000), and was outraised by the likely GOP nominee, former state senator Richard Tisei ($469,000). Needless to say, it's rare to see an incumbent on such equal financial footing in one race -- much less the primary and general elections.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Aaron Blake · July 16, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.