Incumbent Democratic leaders are spending early to retain a majority in the Senate

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On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, Senator Raphael Warnack, Georgia, spoke to reporters about suffrage laws on Capitol Hill in Washington. Warnock’s company said Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, that it raised a significant $ 9.8 million in the last quarter of 2021, nearly double the fundraiser reported by leading Republican contender for office, former football star Herschel Walker.

AP

More than eight months before the midterm elections, the struggle for control of the Senate is already taking shape as a contest focused on entrenched democratic leaders and a few purple states that President Joe Biden won by a small margin.

Well-funded executives now plan to spend money sooner – and more – than ever before, trying to dispel widespread voter frustration.

“It will be different from race to race, but I think you will see how candidates, and especially incumbent leaders, will air sooner than ever before,” said Matt Kanter, a Democratic strategist.

Democrats have publicly insisted that they are not defending themselves against the 2022 election. But two of the party’s endangered senators have put up advertising on the airand strategists say the party risks losing at least four seats held by Democratic candidates.

A razor-thin majority in the Senate – it controls only 50 seats – means losing even one Democrat could give Republicans control of the Legislature. This dynamic could force Biden’s party to make difficult choices as to what support to offer some of its Republican candidates.

GOP operatives, for their part, say they hope the political climate conducive to their party will bring them enough victories to bring back a majority and then some, although they warn that their candidates will need to prove first that they are able to lead good companies.

“As the national environment continues to lean toward Republicans, new things are becoming possible for us in terms of making the map bigger,” said Stephen Lowe, CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, a high-spending group with close ties to the Senate minority. Leader Mitch McConnell.

The struggle for the Senate takes place against the background of the by-elections a year in which Democrats on the ballot are fighting for support since 2020, when Biden fought against former President Donald Trump. Since then voters disagreed how Biden coped with his work, and the irritation over the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and public health.

Last fall, Democrats suffered an unexpected defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial race, a defeat in the blue state that many in the party interpreted as a significant warning about the results of the by-elections.

Strategists on both sides agree that the main battlefield includes four states defending democratic rulers – Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and New Hampshire – and three states represented by Republicans – North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

North Carolina is the only state out of seven that Trump won in the 2020 election.

“I think the card is one of the things that makes me most optimistic about this cycle, which, number one, in order to keep the majority, all we need to do is win where President Biden has won.” said Jessica Floyd. president of American Bridge, the Democratic Super PAC.

In some of these states Biden won with a small number, and two Democrats vying for re-election in the affected areas, Sens. Rafael Warnock of Georgia and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire have already launched commercials supporting their re-election applications. These two senators, as well as Mark Kelly of Arizona and Catherine Cortes Masta of Nevada, are widely seen as the most vulnerable candidates from the Democratic Party.

Warnock is likely to meet with Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and football star at the University of Georgia, and Cortes Bridge’s rival in Nevada is expected to be former Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich heads a group of Republican candidates in his state, while in New Hampshire, where one of the last primaries in the country is taking place, the Republican sphere is still being formed.

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Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker speaks during former President Donald Trump’s “Save America” ​​rally in Perry, Georgia, September 25, 2021. Ben Gray AP

In North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio, another purple state where Trump won, incumbent Republican senators are not seeking re-election. Retirements have helped increase fundraising and interest in Democrats participating in primaries in those states, in addition to all incumbent senators the National Party has promised to protect.

“Even in states that usually seem accessible to democratic forces, the map is very strong,” said Justin Baraski, a former senior adviser to the Democratic Senator’s election committee. “So I think Democrats will have the resources to do both.”

States on the outskirts of the competition map include Florida, where, according to opinion polls, Republican Senator Marco Rubio holds healthy leadership over the alleged democratic opponent and current Representative Val Demings, and Colorado, where Republicans have failed to assemble the best rookie, but party strategists argue that the party could make its way into a favorable year.

Democratic strategists say they need to invest in states where Trump has won twice, even if their chances of winning there are lower than in the state where Biden won.

‘You don’t want to completely let go of the ropes in places like Florida or North Carolina, because even if you’re fighting a draw, you’re still forcing Republicans to invest, and there’s still a chance you’ll get a Republican nominee who welds.’ yelled, ”said Joel Payne, a Democrat strategist who worked for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed.

Rubia said that at the end of last year there were $ 10.6 million in cash. At the time of her last financial disclosure, Demings was left to spend $ 8.1 million. But the state is one of the most expensive to compete with, and in a recent poll Rubio was seven points ahead of Demings.

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio speaks at the Wrestlers Against Socialism event at the Wings Over Miami Museum in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Daniel A. Varela dvarela@miamiherald.com

Former Rubio aide and veteran Republican strategist Alex Conant said Democrats may find that their resources are better deployed elsewhere if Deming’s fundraising flags or Rubia’s flags open up broader leadership.

“In a world with limited money on Senate campaigns, they have to choose and choose,” Conant said. “You will always first protect your current leaders and then try to select the most vulnerable senators, especially if they are in relatively accessible states.”

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A spokesman for Val Demings, D-Fla., Paused to talk to reporters about the Violent Incident Elimination and Technological Investigation Techniques Act (VICTIM) on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, in Washington. Alex Brandon AP

Republicans say they are well aware of their prospects in the states on the battlefield, even though the leading candidates from their party have sometimes been praised by Democrats.

Former North Carolina Supreme Court Speaker and Democratic Senate nominee Cherry Beasley has raised more money than all of her Republican and Democrat rivals last year. In total, it raised $ 5 million and had more than $ 2.8 million in the bank at the end of 2021.

North Carolina Republican Chairman Michael Watley said he is confident that the final Republican candidate for the Senate will be able to raise the money needed to run in the general election.

“If Republicans can’t hold North Carolina, they can’t get a majority back,” Watley said. “So we feel like we’re going to be at the top level and we’re doing everything we can as a state party right now to be ready to support whoever goes to the primaries and we feel like we’re going to be in a good position.”

Late primaries in some states, including Missouri and Arizona, could also prolong the damage to Republican primaries.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party says it is organizing all year after the 2020 election and is preparing an apparatus that can fight incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson after the party’s August primaries.

“Wisconsin is home to nail rodents. It is the only state where four of the last six presidential elections have fallen to less than one percentage point. So it’s a state where either side can win, “said Democratic Chairman Ben Wickler.

Alex Roarti has written about the Democratic Party since joining McClach in 2017. He has been a reporter for the Washington campaign since 2010 after covering Pennsylvania politics and government during the second term of former Gov. Ed Randall.

Francesco Chambers has illuminated the White House for more than five years during two presidencies. In 2016, she was included in the company of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. She is a native of Kansas City and graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas.

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