The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee- the committee tasked with overseeing Democratic Senate races- has narrowly out-raised their Republican counterparts- the National Republican Senatorial Committee- for the first quarter of 2012.
The DSCC reported raising more than $17.7 million in the first three months of 2012. This figure, the committee notes, marks the most successful first quarter of fundraising ever for the group. The DSCC has $24 million in cash on hand, and reports owing zero in debt.
In a written statement the Executive Director of the DSCC, Guy Cecil, credited the strong fundraising to high enthusiasm about the Democratic candidates running for office, and the prospect of the Democrats keeping their majority in the Senate (they currently have 53 seats to the Republicans 47.)
"We have spent the cycle aggressively recruiting great candidates in open and Republican-held seats, our incumbents are building well-funded campaigns and now donors are more enthusiastic than ever about the likelihood we will keep the majority" writes Cecil.
The NRSC had a strong first quarter as well. they took in nearly $15 million for the first quarter, they announced on Thursday. Like their Democratic counterparts, the NRSC also reports having no debt. They currently have $19.6 million cash on hand.
It is worth noting that historically speaking strong fundraising does not necessarily equal victory. The DSCC outraised the NRSC for the 2009-2010 cycle- taking in $82.5 million total as compared to the NRSC's $78.9 million, according to FEC disclosures. Republicans gained seven seats in that cycle- a fact highlighted by a spokesman for the NRSC today.
"Considering Democrats control the Senate and the White House, it's surprising that they don't have an even greater cash advantage" Brian Walsh, communications director for the NRSC wrote to ABC News. " And coming off the 2010 election cycle where Senate Republicans won seven seats despite being outspent, it has to concern national Democrats that we're on track to close that financial gap even further in 2012."
Republicans need a net gain of four seats in order to regain control in the Senate in the fall of 2012.