During the weekend, the FEC released second quarter fundraising reports for the 2024 California U.S. Senate race, showing that Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) raised more than the other major candidates combined.
According to the reports, Schiff raised $8.3 million in Q2 2023, slightly more than he had self reported earlier this month.
“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 earlier this month. “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.”
Coming in a distant second was Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), who raised $3.1 million between April 1st and June 30th. In third was former tech executive Lexi Reese with $1.3 million, albeit with around $300,000 of that coming from herself. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), meanwhile, only raised $1.1 million. The top Republican, lawyer Eric Early, reported just over $200,000.
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.
Schiff leads Senate fundraising for 2024
The large jump in support for Schiff has largely been attributed to Democrats happy with the Congressman following his censure in 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. The increased attention on Schiff, as well as waning hype over the race, also likely led to the other major Democratic candidates falling in fundraising during the second quarter.
“It was initially seen that the censure wouldn’t have that much of an effect since it came so late in the quarter, but a lot of Democratic donors liked that,” explained LA-based pollster Angie Friedman to the Globe on Monday. “Porter isn’t getting as much as she used to, and Lee is getting less than someone who never ran for office before. But Schiff, he is capitalizing on everything, and that includes recent events.”
Other than the censure, Schiff is also working one of his usual large-donor bases – the entertainment industry. He has been seen on the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike picket line, and despite many not likely to donate soon due to the strike cutting into pay, many are likely to support the candidates who supported them during the strike, with Schiff now being at the top of the list.
“It’s him on the picket line and him already having many in the industry supporting him,” added Friedman. “There are so many more donors than just the industry, but they are a big one. And as we saw in quarter 2, they do come out when needed. Schiff is lucking out recently, and he is going to have a lot of cash in hand when he really needs to start campaigning. He made a lot in Q2, and Q3 is really going to be important as the primary gets closer.
“Porter and Lee really need to step up their game this quarter, Reese needs to prove she can fundraise well without putting her own money in, and the GOP needs to solidify their candidates. Early getting $200,000 is a good start, but compared against what Schiff got, their game needs to go up too.”
All candidates are expected to increase their fundraising efforts this quarter as the March 2024 primary draws closer.
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