The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has maxed out to the 2010 re-election campaigns of Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.).
The DSCC last month gave $42,600 apiece to Lincoln, who is seeking a third term, and Dorgan, who is running for a fourth. That’s the maximum amount that a national party committee can give directly to a Senate candidate, though it is permitted to spend unlimited sums on independent expenditures so long as they’re not coordinated with the campaign.
Lincoln could face a difficult race against the winner of the multicandidate Republican primary, where state Sen. Gilbert Baker (R) is a leading contender. Dorgan is considered a shoo-in for re-election unless Gov. John Hoeven (R) decides to challenge him.
What Will Cash Kings Schumer, Shelby Give?
The two best-funded Senators on the ballot in 2010 are overwhelmingly favored to win re-election in no small part because of their huge war chests. But to what extent they might be prepared to part with their millions to help their parties’ 2010 election efforts remains to be seen.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tops all Senators who are in cycle with $16.6 million in cash on hand as of the end of September. That’s not a surprise, given that Schumer has long been one of his party’s most potent fundraisers and is a former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He’s running for a third term.
The next best-funded Senator up in 2010 is Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) who has $15.3 million in cash on hand for a campaign for a fifth term that he’s expected to win easily.
Thus far, both Senators are hoarding their campaign cash. Schumer’s only disbursement in the third quarter that was not related to his campaign was a $4,800 donation to Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City. Shelby’s campaign gave $1,000 to a county Republican Party for its annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner.