The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is off to a fast fundraising start, pulling in $13.7 million in the first three months of 2013, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. The haul, which includes $5.2 million raised in March, is the largest amount raised by the DSCC during the first three months of a non-election year.
The amount also beat the National Republican Senatorial Committee by $6.9 million. The NRSC raised only $6.8 million over the same period, the lowest first-quarter amount raised in a non-election year by the committee in a decade.
The big Democratic fundraising advantage, heavily aided by the party's control of the chamber, also extends to senatorial candidates up for election in 2014. Those candidates, mostly incumbents, all posted strong first-quarter fundraising numbers, including multimillion-dollar hauls for the most vulnerable members. Democrats believe that their financial advantage over Republicans will help to balance the expected disadvantage they could face against the unlimited funds of super PACs and other nonprofit organizations. Democrats argue that their candidates should have a leg up on outside groups because they can buy advertising space at a lower cost and have more control over their message.
"Republicans have Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers, and we have a grassroots army that is committed to keeping a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate," Guy Cecil, executive director of the DSCC, said in a statement.
The DSCC stated that $5.6 million of its quarterly fundraising total came from grassroots donors giving online, in the mail and over the phone. The committee ended March with $8.4 million cash on hand.
The official committee of House Democrats also opened up a large fundraising advantage over its Republican counterpart in the first quarter of 2013. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $22.6 million in the last three months, compared to $17.5 million raised by the National Republican Congressional Committee. This advantage comes thanks to large transfers of money from the campaigns of congressional Democrats.