Earlier this month, federal candidates submitted campaign finance reports covering their fundraising and spending from June through September. In the race for the US Senate, Democrat Tim Ryan continues to outpace his Republican opponent JD Vance. But Vance was able to significantly mitigate that advantage through outside spending by Republican groups.
Vance has made significant progress after a lackluster fundraising summer quarter, but his $6.9 million pales in comparison to Tim Ryan’s haul. In the third quarter, Ryan reported just over $17 million in new donations. A campaign press release gleefully noted that transportation nearly doubled the previous quarter, which in turn doubled the previous quarter.
The problem for Ryan is that he burns that money as fast as he gets it. In total, his campaign raised just over $38 million. So far, he’s spent about $37 million on it. In the third quarter alone, he spent more on television, radio, mail and online advertising than Vance raised this entire campaign.
Both candidates derive most of their individual fundraising from the people of Ohio. Since their last regular report, Vance has raised about $2.7 million from Ohioans, about half of the overall total from individuals. Ryan raised more than Vance in Ohio, $3.2 million, but that was about a third of his overall fundraising share from individuals. The second largest share of these contributions came from Californians.
Vance also bolstered its results last quarter with a second $700,000 personal loan.
The fundraising numbers will move the target into the final days as candidates face 48-hour reporting requirements for any contributions over $1,000. On Wednesday, Vance brought in an additional $92,500 and Ryan brought in $90,750.
And the organizations?
Vance’s campaign accounts have garnered donations from recognizable companies like Home Depot, UPS, Anthem and private prison company GEO Group. A number of organizations representing the coal industry donated to Vance as well as franchisees for KFC and Burger King.
Despite allegations of anti-Semitism after Vance suggested that George Soros might ferry women to different states for abortions, Vance recovered more than $25,000 each from NORPAC, which promotes US-Israel relations and the Republican-Israeli Coalition. Jewish.
Vance also received a few thousand dollars each from a host of Republican officials. United States Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, who donated more than $35,000, however, stood out. Cornyn helped negotiate this summer’s gun reform measure shortly after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Vance later expressed his opposition to this legislation.
Ryan brought over $133,000 from J Street PAC which focuses on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He serves on several joint fundraising committees, including one – Justice 2022 – which raised around $118,000.
Ryan received $5,000 from Cardinal Health, but most of his industry donations came from a wide range of worker groups. Bricklayers, railroad workers, sheet metal workers, air traffic controllers — even sailors — have given to Ryan’s campaign. He also received donations from Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s Political Action Committees.
The elephant in the room – and the reason Ryan is burning his money edge – is the outside expense. Most of that spending comes from the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC controlled by Mitch McConnell. According to independent FEC expense reports, the organization has paid $28 million into the race so far.
The corresponding Democratic Super PAC, the Senate Majority PAC, has so far stayed out of the race. In an emailed statement, JB Poersch praised Ryan’s campaign but did not report a last-minute rescue effort.
“Tim Ryan is running a remarkably strong campaign that resonates with Ohio voters of all political persuasions and puts Republicans on the defensive, while Vance’s weak candidacy has become a serious handicap for the GOP,” he said. -he declares. “We will continue to make strategic and effective decisions that put us in the best possible position to accomplish our mission: to defend our Democratic majority in the Senate.”
Ryan himself had two opinions about the lack of outside support, alternately frustrated or defiant. In recent weeks, a handful of organizations have announced ad buys to support Ryan’s campaign, but it’s a piecemeal approach.
Most notably, a super PAC called the Save America Fund has invested just over $4 million in the race since August to help Ryan. The committee first met to support Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath’s U.S. Senate bid against Mitch McConnell. Another liberal group called Future Forward USA has invested nearly $3 million, and the Republican Accountability PAC, made up of Republicans opposed to Donald Trump, recently announced a $1.7 million ad buy against Vance.
Zooming out, this year’s midterm exams will be exceptionally expensive across the country. Campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets predicts spending will top $9.3 billion. An NPR analysis of TV ad spend ranks Ohio as the sixth most expensive race in the nation.
Follow the OCJ journalist Nick Evans on Twitter.
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