Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock each received more than $ 100 million in campaign contributions in the past two months, nearly doubling the Senate fundraising record and far surpassing their Republican rivals, according to their latest records with the Federal Electoral Commission.
Ossoff and Warnock face high-risk runs against Republican senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If the Democrats manage to overthrow their opponents in the second round of January 5, the Senate will be divided into 50-50 and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris can undo any tie in the Democratic vote.
In the last period of the report, which runs from October 15 to December 16, Ossoff raised $ 106.8 million, while Warnock raised $ 103.4 million. Both broke the previous $ 57.9 million fundraising record for a Senate candidate established by Democrat Jaime Harrison in the third quarter of 2020 in his unsuccessful attempt to oust Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina.
Perdue, who is facing Ossoff, raised $ 68.1 million and ended up with $ 16 million in cash. Loeffler, who opposes Warnock, presented his report on Wednesday. She raised $ 64 million and had $ 21.3 million in the bank in the final weeks of the campaign. Combined, Democrats topped Republican representatives by $ 78.1 million.
Georgia’s two contests drew national interest, with some donors issuing seven-digit checks to super-PACs and online donors injecting money into candidates’ coffers.
Candidate records include money raised for the general election, as well as for the second round.
Ossoff spent $ 93.5 million and had $ 17.5 million in cash towards the final stretch. He is the biggest media spender in his race against Perdue, reserving television, radio and digital ads totaling $ 47.5 million since the November 3 election through December 16, according to data from AdImpact.
Warnock had $ 22.8 million in cash after spending $ 86.1 million. He set aside $ 41.2 million in time for the media from the election until December 16, compared with $ 27.5 million for Loeffler.
Grassroots donors, those who contribute less than $ 200, gave Ossoff $ 49.6 million. It is not the first time that donors of small dollars pour donations into their coffers. In 2017, he raised $ 19.1 million from them and $ 30 million in total, while running unsuccessfully in a special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Although Ossoff lost, the contest was the first display of enthusiasm from Democratic donors during President Donald Trump’s presidency.
Warnock raised $ 50.5 million from grassroots donors.
In the general election, Perdue took Ossoff from 49.7% to 48%. The Loeffler-Warnock race was a special “jungle primary” to fill the vacancy left by Johnny Isakson. Warnock led with 32.9%, against 25.9% for Loeffler. Republican Doug Collins came in third with 20%.
President-elect Joe Biden beat Georgia by 12,670 votes, giving Democrats some confidence that they can take at least one Senate seat for the first time since 2005. Trump and Biden campaigned in the state.
Some super PACs active in the second rounds have also submitted reports covering their activities between 24 November and 16 December. The Lincoln Project, founded by former Republican members who opposed Trump and now support Democrats, raised $ 4.8 million, spent $ 7.5 million and had $ 5.4 million in cash available.
On the Republican side, ESAFund raised $ 5.1 million. Marlene Ricketts, wife of billionaire Joe Ricketts, donated $ 1.9 million, while Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin, hedge fund manager Paul Singer and Charles Schwab, founder of Charles Schwab Corp., gave $ 1 million each one. The super-PAC spent $ 1.4 million, including a $ 250,000 donation to the Gun Owners Action Fund, and had $ 3.7 million in cash in hand. Georgia United Victory, which supports Loeffler, raised $ 2.8 million, spent $ 3.4 million and had $ 411,236 in the bank.
Some smaller super-PACs had renowned donors. Keep America America Action Fund received $ 600,000 from Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, just under two-thirds of the $ 902,170 it raised between November 24 and December 16. Singer and Schwab donated $ 250,000 each to the America Patriots PAC. Both groups supported Republicans.