The FEC just released third 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, for the second quarter reporting period in a row.
According to FEC reporting forms, Schiff for Senate brought in just over $5.9 million in donations in the third quarter this year, covering July, August, and September. While still the highest amount raised by far of any candidate in the Senate race, Schiff came in well below his second quarter amount of $8.3 million. This is in large part because of the Schiff campaign having a relatively quiet past three months compared to the previous quarter when he made national news by getting censured by the House over his investigations of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and possible ties with Russia. That had caused a late June boost in donations, as well as a boost over Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) in polling in the following months.
The Katie Porter for Senate campaign, brought in $3.3 million in the latest quarter. This proved to be marginally better than her $3.1 million raised in April, May, and June. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) also raised a significant amount, bringing in just over $1 million in the last 3 months. However this was slightly less than what she brought in the second quarter, when she raised $1.1 million. Rounding out the top Democrats was former Google executive Lexi Reese with $712,000 raised in Q3.
Among Republicans, lawyer Eric Early once again led in fundraising, bringing in just over $275,000 this quarter. This was a modest gain over Q2, when he had brought in just over $200,000. Former executive James Bradley, meanwhile, brought in just over $11,000 in the third quarter. Former professional baseball player Steve Garvey, a prominent Republican fundraiser, entered the race too far into the second quarter to file, but is expected to file a fourth quarter report.
As for campaign spending, Schiff and Porter spent less than they brought in, signs that both are preparing for a massive spending campaign over the next five months until the March primary, as well as possibly into next November. Schiff spent $4 million this quarter and currently has a war chest of $32 million. Porter, meanwhile, spent $1.8 million in the last three months and has $12 million to work with. In comparison, Lee is showing major signs of struggling, with her campaign spending $1.1 million this quarter and actually losing nearly $100,000 as a result. Currently her campaign only has $1.3 million left.
Schiff leads in fundraising for yet another quarter
“Lee’s campaign is beginning to flounder,” said LA-based pollster Angie Friedman to the Globe on Tuesday. “Her campaign really needed a turn around during the summer, hence all the spending, but they never really got it. She’s doing worse in polls now, with Early, a Republican, nearly overtaking her for third place according to the latest poll. She has a ton of endorsements, but she’s beginning to lose some. And now with [Senator Laphonza] Butler now possibly in the race, she might lose her advantages of being the only major candidate from the Bay area and the only major black candidate.”
“She might drop out before the primary, if only to make the Democratic vote split less worse. And her endorsement would be huge. But her campaign is now bleeding funds and has no gains to show for it. She’s not in a good place.”
A recent Washington Post article calling for Schiff and Porter to drop out in favor of Lee for “equality” reasons was widely mocked over the past few days, and has put even more focus on Lee’s struggling campaign. According to experts, it actually has done more damage than good.
“Yeah, that hurt Lee,” said Friedman. “They tried to tie in a cause to Lee’s run, and it just goes to show just how desperate her scramble has been recently. Just like her campaign pouring out funds, that op-ed did nothing. Schiff and Porter are doing way better, and they are resorting to guilt. That is bottom of the barrel.”
“Overall, Schiff and Porter are in good financial shape for some big campaigns, Lee is struggling, and Reese could give a fun little push there. [Laphonza] Butler, you know, too early. We don’t even know if she is running yet, and if she does, she likely won’t have a lot to work with. For the GOP, Early does have a bit of money, and when you put it at a dollar per poll support percentage ratio, he is actually getting a lot more bang for his buck. But he needs to raise a lot more if he wants to stay up there. The big thing right now is where Garvey is at. He is a major fundraiser, but he is also getting into the race kind of late. He’ll be the wild card this coming quarter. Well, Butler too if she decides to give it a go, but right now we only know that he is running. Butler has literally said that she doesn’t know yet.”
“Fourth quarter, you know, Schiff has deep fundraising pockets, especially with the entertainment industry, so he’ll have another good quarter. Porter too. Ones to watch will be Lee and Garvey. The same goes for new polling, but fundraising can really show where they will be at for that final push into the primary in March.”
Q4 fundraising totals are set to come out in mid-January 2024.
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