NPR logo Democrats Keep Money Advantage As Dollars Flood In

Election 2010

Democrats Keep Money Advantage As Dollars Flood In

President Barack Obama with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic nominee for Senate, at a Stamford, Conn. fundraiser.  Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

With less than six weeks until the congressional elections, party committees and independent groups report that multi-million dollar amounts are flowing into close races. Disclosure filings show some donors contributing $1 million each.

The Republicans' three big party committees continue to be outraised by corresponding Democratic groups.

But the GOP senatorial committee now has a bigger reserve than its Democratic counterpart, roughly $24.5 million versus $23 million.

New York Senator Charles Schumer gave the Democratic senatorial committee $1 million from his own campaign.

The independent, pro-Republican groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS raised almost twice as much as the Republican National Committee, thanks in part to $1 million each contributions from two wealthy Texans.

And an anonymous donor has given $1 millions to the Tea Party Patriots organization. It's money that legally cannot be used to directly endorse or oppose candidates.

The Democratic National Committee has outraised the Republican National Committee by nearly $12 million dollars this cycle, a reflection of a sitting president's drawing power and GOP disaffection with RNC chairman Michael Steele.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also has a clear lead over the National Republican Senatorial Committee, although Republicans note that it's smaller than two years ago.

The biggest gap is on the House side. In a cycle when Republicans have a clear shot at retaking control of the chamber, their fundraising badly lags the Democrats.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has 53 percent more cash on hand than the National Republican Congressional Committee.

And the big money funneled into the GOP effort by independent groups has been going mainly for Senate contests.

Schumer is hardly the only incumbent to shovel money into the campaign committees. But no one else has ante'd up $1 million in one chunk.

Schumer made the contribution even though he's running this year; he seems to have a safe seat.

And as a former chairman of the DSCC and a member of the leadership [vice chair of the Democratic Conference], he has a stake in holding on to the majority.

The two generous Texans are Trevor Rees-Jones, an oilman, and Robert Rowling, an investor.

American Crossroads and its companion group, Crossroads GPS, raised about $14.5 million in late August and early September. By comparison, the RNC's take for August was $7.95 million.