Rick Scott is in charge of winning back the Senate majority for Republicans this November.
And he’s worried.
“Look, we have great candidates, we have every reason to believe we can win,” the Florida senator said in a speech at the America First Policy Institute summit on Monday. “The issue we’ve got is we’ve got to raise money.”
Scott, who runs the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is pointing to the vast fundraising deficit that some of the top-tier Republican candidates face with less than four months before the midterm elections.
A few examples:
In Georgia, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock raised $17.2 million between April 1 and June 30, ending the period with more than $22.2 million in the bank. By contrast, Republican Herschel Walker had just $6.8 million on hand.
In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly raised nearly $13.6 million during the second quarter and ended June with roughly $25 million in the bank. Republicans remain mired in a divisive and costly primary that won’t conclude until next month.
And it’s not just Democratic incumbents raking in cash for their Senate races. in Pennsylvania, Democratic nominee John Fetterman raised nearly $11 million over the three-month period, doubling what celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee, brought in. Even in Ohio, a GOP-leaning state, Democrat Tim Ryan outraised Republican J.D. Vance by a 9-1 margin from April through the end of June.
Now, it’s worth noting here that money isn’t always determinative in Senate races (I wrote about that recently here). And there are plenty of super PACs and outside groups that might help close the money gap.
But even with all that said, it’s absolutely noteworthy that Scott, the Republican senator charged with overseeing these campaigns, decided to publicly admit that the party and its candidates have a fundraising problem.
Scott’s move is strategic. He is hoping to wake up Republican donors (and the candidates they give to) to the fact that they are facing a serious deficit in the money fight at the moment.
The reality, however, is that time is running out for Republicans in the cash dash. TV ads are already running in a number of states – Ryan, for example, has already spent millions on commercials – and ad time for the fall is starting to look scarce.
The Point: Scott knows he can win races where Republicans are outspent – especially given the GOP tilt of the national playing field. But he also knows that you’d always rather be the campaign with more money than the one with less.