Congressman and 2024 U.S. Senate candidate Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced Wednesday that he raised a record $8.1 million in the second quarter of 2023, extending his fundraising lead over the other candidates, despite being censured by the House last month.
Following Schiff, Congresswomen Katie Porter (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) entering the 2024 U.S. Senate race at the beginning of the year as the three major Democratic candidates, he has, due to his decades long fundraising experience in Southern California, come out with a giant fundraising lead. The first quarter results, reported in April, had Schiff raising $6.5 million while having $24.6 million on hand. Meanwhile, Porter only managed to raise $4.5 million with $9.4 million on hand and Lee bottomed out with only being able to raise $1 million with $1.15 million on hand.
During the next three months, Schiff has risen in popularity. He has finally bypassed Porter as the leader in Democratic candidate polls and has been finding campaign success outside of SoCal.
Last Month, Schiff was censured by the House for misleading the American people over Congressional investigations into claimed ties between former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 Presidential race. However, the censure came too late into June to really show much of an impact on fundraising, with many experts speculating that the censure could actually endear him to many potential donors due to the censure charge.
Despite that major speed bump, Schiff hit a record raised funds in the second quarter. While no other candidates have reported fundraising amounts for the second quarter as of Wednesday afternoon, it is widely expected to keep Schiff well ahead in fundraising, as both Porter and Lee continue to lag.
Specifically, Schiff managed to attract 144,000 individual donors in the second quarter, with an average donation coming to $34. Even more, the $8.1 million figure broke the record for the the most ever raised by a Senate candidate in the second quarter of the year before the election. Schiff beat out Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who had raised $7.2 in the second quarter of 2021 for his 2022 Senate re-election campaign.
“It’s abundantly clear that Adam’s message and record of results are resonating with the people of California,” said Schiff 2024 campaign manager Brad Elkins on Wednesday. “With over $29.5 million cash on hand, the campaign continues to gain momentum and is best positioned to run an effective campaign as we get closer to the primary election.”
However, experts noted on Wednesday that, despite the record raised, it will not make the road to the Senate any easier for him.
“There’s a lot he still needs to contend with,” explained LA-based pollster Angie Friedman to the Globe on Wednesday. “Porter still has the most name recognition amongst the three of them, and really eats into his Southern Californian support. Lee has more endorsements than him too. He may have Pelosi, but Lee has been getting big names too, and has an advantage in Northern California. Lexi Reese, who joined in last month, also is a strong fundraiser.”
“For the GOP, possible candidate Steve Garvey is a fundraising machine and could really challenge Schiff on how much they can get in SoCal. And then there other candidates like Eric Early who have been embarrassing Schiff and the other Democrats in polls by leading in them due to the three-way Democratic split. So it is not going to be easy for Schiff. Plus, at this point, eight months out from the Primary, it is still anyone’s game. Schiff could even overdue it in advertising due to having so many funds, saturate his message, and wash out in 3rd or fourth place due to people being tired of seeing his ads. It’s happened before.”
“So, yes, he did raise a lot this past quarter, but that does not mean that he is on easy street.”
Porter and Lee’s campaigns are expected to release 2023 Q2 fundraising totals soon.
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