By SUMMER BALLENTINE , Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Data released Monday shows Missouri’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill brought in $7.8 million in roughly two months for her tough re-election bid, breaking records and raising nearly double what her Republican opponent did.
McCaskill’s haul appears to break Missouri records for U.S. Senate fundraising between mid-July and the end of September, according to an analysis of past candidate campaign finance records.
Since 2000, the only candidate to come close was McCaskill herself. She brought in more than $5.5 million in total receipts in the same time period during her 2012 race against former Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin.
That puts her soundly ahead of her current Republican rival, Attorney General Josh Hawley. Hawley brought in $3.2 million.
The stakes are high for the race. McCaskill is one of 10 Democratic Senate incumbents up for re-election in states won by Trump, and Republicans view her seat as a prime pickup opportunity. Trump won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016.
In total, McCaskill brought in close to $8.5 million from the start of July and the end of September compared to Hawley’s roughly $3.4 million. McCaskill also significantly outspent Hawley, dropping a whopping $17.5 million over the full three-month period compared to his $2.9 million.
Hawley ended September with $3.5 million cash on hand compared to McCaskill’s roughly $3.2 million.
The race is also attracting considerable spending by outside groups. That could help offset McCaskill’s financial advantage, although outside groups are also dumping money into the race in hopes of re-electing her.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics , outside groups have spent more than $53 million on the race so far.