The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced this morning that it had raised a record-breaking $45.4 million in the second quarter of the year, more than $20 million of which the group raised in June alone.
The National Democratic Congressional Committee, meanwhile, announced just yesterday that it had a similarly record-breaking haul last quarter, but with a much lower final total, with $36.5 million overall and $14.4 million in June.
Both groups are looking ahead to next year’s midterms, emphasizing in their respective press releases that the record-breaking nature of the amounts raised during a non-election year indicates a higher level of interest in the 2022 congressional races.
So far this year, the NRCC’s strategy has focused on big-ticket items plaguing the early days of the Biden administration, including the crisis at the southern border, the ongoing rise in crime across the country, and the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 stimulus bill.
With an evenly divided Senate and razor-thin margin in the House, Republicans are hopeful that continued struggles for the administration — and the possibility of unpopular further spending from Democrats — will give GOP candidates the edge in taking over vulnerable seats next fall.
One particularly notable success last quarter for Republicans on the Senate side is a report from the campaign of South Carolina senator Tim Scott, whose seat is up in 2022. This is Scott’s third reelection effort, as he won a special election in 2014 for the seat to which he was appointed in 2013, and he was elected to his first full term in 2016.
Roll Call reports this morning that Scott’s campaign raised $9.6 million last quarter, the most any sitting senator has reported amassing so far this election cycle. In fact, as the report notes, it’s “more than four times what Scott raised in the first quarter of the year, and $3.4 million above what he raised in winning his first full term in 2016.”
His success this early in the upcoming election cycle is likely a sign not only of increased Republican interest in the 2022 races overall but also a result of Scott’s rising profile within the GOP. Earlier this year, Scott was chosen to deliver the GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union, and he made several significant legislative efforts during the Trump administration, including adding his “Opportunity Zones” legislation to the GOP tax reform in 2017 and a more recent conservative plan for police reform that Senate Democrats blocked.
Despite Democratic attempts to turn southern states blue, Scott’s South Carolina appears to remain solidly Republican. In last year’s Senate races, the state’s other senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, successfully defended his seat against challenger Jaime Harrison, even though Democrats poured immense resources into the race and Harrison’s campaign raised a whopping $86 million. In the final full quarter of the race alone, Harrison amassed $57 million, the largest single-quarter total by any candidate in U.S. Senate history, yet Graham defeated him by ten points.