Theresa Greenfield raised more money in the last three months than any Iowan running for U.S. Senate had raised in an entire election cycle.
In the third fundraising quarter of 2020, spanning July through September, Greenfield’s campaign says it raised $28.7 million, a “record-shattering” figure never before reported by a U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa. The campaign is expected to report closing Q3 with more than $9 million in cash-on-hand. The total is even more than both Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst’s combined 2014 fundraising for that entire cycle (both raised about $12 million each).
“While Senator Ernst struggles to defend her failed record of selling out Iowans for her corporate PAC donors, Theresa’s grassroots momentum continues to grow — all without accepting a single dime from corporate PACs,” said Izzi Levy, a Greenfield spokesperson, in a statement. “From now through November 3, Theresa is going to continue competing for every last vote in every corner of the state by listening to Iowans and focusing on the issues that matter most, whether it’s expanding access to affordable health care, protecting Social Security, creating more good-paying jobs, or getting us through this pandemic.”
Sen. Joni Ernst’s campaign has not released its Q3 fundraising total, and as of Thursday morning, neither candidates’ latest fundraising reports were yet available on the Federal Election Commission website.
According to Greenfield’s campaign, she received contributions from individuals in each of Iowa’s 99 counties, with 95% of the total contributions received in Q3 coming in at $100 or less.
ActBlue reported an avalanche of donations in the immediate aftermath of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, with $100 million in contributions to Democratic campaigns through their platform in a day and a half. Much of that was directed at Senate campaigns, due to the chamber’s role in the upcoming nomination hearing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
But even compared to other competitive Senate races across the country, Greenfield’s eye-popping fundraising haul stands out.
John Hickenlooper of Colorado, running to unseat GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, has reported raising $22.6 million; Democrat MJ Hegar, vying for Sen. John Cornyn’s seat in Texas, raised $13.5 million; and Cal Cunningham, locked in a tight contest with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, brought in $28.3 million.
The funds Greenfield raised during the latest three-month fundraising period, according to the campaign, are four times more than Ernst recorded at this point in her 2014 campaign and double the amount Ernst raised in the entire 2014 cycle.
The enormity of Greenfield’s Q3 haul speaks to the importance of Iowa in Democrats’ efforts to win back the Senate. If Democratic Sen. Doug Jones loses reelection in deep red Alabama, Democrats need to flip four seats and win the White House to recover control of the Senate. The party seems poised to flip Republican-held seats in Colorado, Arizona, and Maine, with either Iowa and North Carolina likely to provide Democrats’ fourth seat to capture the chamber.
In addition to a fundraising advantage, Greenfield consistently has led in the polls since securing the Democratic nomination in June. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows Greenfield with support from 50% of likely voters compared to 45% for Ernst. The new Daily Kos/Civiqs poll found Greenfield leading Ernst 49% to 46%, and the September Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll put the Democrat up 3 points over Ernst, 45% to 42%.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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