news 5 days ago

McGrath breaks fundraising record in Kentucky, collects $36.8 million in one quarter

Lexington Herald-Leader — By Daniel Desrochers Lexington Herald-Leader

Oct. 15-- LEXINGTON, Ky.-Amy McGrath, the Democrat challenger in Kentucky's Senate race, raised twice as much as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from July to September-and spent more than double the incumbent too.

McGrath's campaign reported raising $36.8 million from July 1 to Sept. 30, around 96% of which came from individual contributions. The record-breaking amount flooded in even as some Democrats spread messages on social media urging people not to donate to McGrath, who is considered an underdog.

McGrath has raised $84.1 million since starting her campaign in July 2019, which is more than the Kentucky General Fund allocated to public health in the 2020-2021 budget.

The McConnell campaign raised $15.6 million in the same time period, which McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden called a "record haul" for Kentucky Republicans in a single quarter of a campaign.

The McConnell campaign reported having $13.8 million on hand to finish out the final stretch of the election. McGrath has spent $64.2 million on the campaign and has $19.9 million on hand.

Democratic candidates across the country saw a surge in fundraising after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Jaime Harrison, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in South Carolina, broke the record for the largest amount reported by a U.S. Senate candidate in a single quarter after he raised $57 million in the same time period. McGrath's haul fell just short of the previous record-$38 million by Beto O'Rourke in 2018.

The McGrath campaign spent $33.1 million during the last three months, more than 2014 Democratic senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes ($18.8 million) and 2016 Democratic senate nominee Jim Gray ($6.38 million) spent in the entirety of their campaigns, combined.

It remains unclear how much of an impact McGrath's money has had on the race. The latest public polling, conducted in September, showed her trailing McConnell by double digits in a state President Donald Trump won by 30 percentage points in 2016.

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