The Senate (Presidential) Cash

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 11, 2018 — The Federal Election Commission just released the post-election campaign financial disclosure reports (through the period ending Nov. 26), and the information allows us to draw some interesting conclusions.

The most eye-opening dollar statistic comes from Florida, where Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is reporting more than $3 million remaining in his campaign account after losing the closest statewide race in the country, a 9,763-vote loss (from over 8.19 million ballots cast) for the state’s governor’s seat, won by Rick Scott (R).

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has twice that amount ($6,781,146) in her campaign account, but it became evident weeks before the election that she was doomed to defeat. Therefore, and considering her state has the population for only one congressional district, it is not as surprising that she would have a major post-election cash balance.

Additionally, we also include the amount of campaign money held in the accounts of those senators who are looking to enter the presidential campaign, or at least publicly not ruling out consideration of such.

Immediately below are the financial statistics for the closest 2018 Senate campaigns. Remembering that the campaigns all have post-election expenses, it is prudent that some money be held back to pay bills that present themselves after the official election cycle ends. We will see that most of these campaigns have kept a reasonable amount of money, though several have kept more than an average amount.

The listed order below shows the Senate committees holding the most cash:

Heidi for Senate
• Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota)
– $34,052,382 raised
– $31,976,734 spent
– $6,781,146 cash-on-hand


Bill Nelson for US Senate
• Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida)
– $31,519,015 raised
– $24,882,763 spent
– $3,069,956 cash-on-hand


Rick Scott for Florida
• Gov. Rick Scott (R-Florida)
– $84,694,317 raised
– $83,011,351 spent
– $1,682,965 cash-on-hand
(includes $63,659,753 candidate contribution)


McSally for Senate, Inc.
• Rep. Martha McSally (R-Arizona)
– $21,832,759 raised
– $20,769,002 spent
– $1,063,757 cash-on-hand


Montanans for Tester
• Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana)
– $21,235,946 raised
– $20,579,125 spent
– $716,661 cash-on-hand


Josh Hawley for Senate
• Attorney General Josh Hawley (R-Missouri)
– $11,813,752 raised
– $11,310,611 spent
– $503,141 cash-on-hand


Beto for Texas
• Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)
– $80,319,754 raised
– $80,241,761 spent
– $476,692 cash-on-hand


McCaskill for Missouri
• Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri)
– $39,690,108 raised
– $39,244,471 spent
– $468,030 cash-on-hand


Rosen for Nevada
• Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada)
– $26,107,878 raised
– $25,675,631 spent
– $447,506 cash-on-hand


Donnelly for Indiana
• Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana)
– $17,243,997 raised
– $17,041,271 spent
– $297,160 cash-on-hand


Cramer for Senate
• Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota)
– $6,019,818 raised
– $6,140,040 spent
– $275,286 cash-on-hand


Ted Cruz for Senate
• Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
– $45,287,922 raised
– $45,504,539 spent
– $262,799 cash-on-hand


Matt Rosendale for Montana
• State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R-Montana)
– $5,954,647 raised
– $5,724,817 spent
– $236,043 cash-on-hand


Heller for Senate
• Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada)
– $15,515,750 raised
– $15,511,363 spent
– $229,608 cash-on-hand


Sinema for Arizona
• Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona)
– $22,409,922 raised
– $24,461,371 spent
– $212,184 cash-on-hand


Mike Braun for Indiana
• Ex-state Rep. Mike Braun (R-Indiana)
– $19,454,007 raised
– $19,436,255 spent
– $17,749 cash-on-hand
($6,661,766 debt, most owed to candidate)


Current cash-on-hand for prospective presidential candidates who are sitting US Senators:

  • Sanders, Bernie (VT)** — $14,231,449
  • Elizabeth Warren (MA) — $12,503,216
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) — $10,535,956
  • Amy Klobuchar (MN) — $4,362,356
  • Cory Booker (NJ) — $4,124,812
  • Sherrod Brown (OH) — $1,841,912
  • Kamala Harris (CA) — $1,714,382
  • Michael Bennet (CO) — $1,637,276
  • Jeff Merkley (OR) — $1,560,829
  • Bob Casey Jr. (PA) — $603,125

** The Sanders amount combines the cash-on-hand in his US Senate account ($8,776,282) and the remaining amount reported in his 2016 presidential campaign ($5,455,167).

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