WASHINGTON -- Two Republican incumbent senators retained the largest campaign accounts at the end of the first quarter of 2013 fundraising, but a number of potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent senators running for reelection in 2014 saw some of the biggest increases in their cash-on-hand totals, according to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The senators with the largest campaign war chests remain Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who bumped his total up to $8.6 million cash on hand from $7.4 million at the end of 2012, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had $5.3 million cash on hand at the end of March.
Vulnerable Democratic senators saw some of the steepest increases in their campaign accounts over the first three months of the year. Incumbent freshmen Democrats and incumbents representing states that voted for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 saw an average increase of nearly $900,000 cash on hand from the end of 2012 through the first quarter of 2013.
These potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents were led by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who doubled his cash-on-hand total of $1.7 million at the end of 2012 to $3.4 million at the end of March. Freshman Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) also doubled her end-of-2012, cash-on-hand total of $1.3 million to $2.7 million. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), also a freshman, nearly doubled his end-of-year total of $1.3 million by adding an additional $1.2 million.
Freshmen Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) all increased their cash-on-hand totals by more than double in the first quarter, and appointed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) increased his cash on hand from nothing to more than $1 million.
Some of the announced candidates for open Senate seats also posted strong cash-on-hand totals at the end of the first quarter. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), running to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), had $2.4 million at the end of March. Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (D), running to replace retiring Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), had $1.6 million, and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), running to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), had $1 million cash on hand at the end of March.
Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R) and Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), both running for the seats of retiring senators, did less well. Rounds, looking to replace retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), only had $368,951 cash on hand at the end of March; while Broun, hoping to fill retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss' (R-Ga.) seat, had just $217,055.
First quarter reports for Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and for Massachusetts Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez (R-Mass.) were not immediately available.
Check out the upcoming Senate races, ranked by cash on hand: