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Exclusive: Republican Outside Groups Raise $31.6 million, Record Amounts for Midterms

WASHINGTON — The leading outside groups working to retain the Republican Party’s grip on the Senate in November’s midterm elections raised $31.6 million last year — a record amount for the organizations in a non-election year, according to figures provided first to USA TODAY.

The Senate Leadership Fund, One Nation and two other political organizations associated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., started this year with $23.9 million in cash reserves, a 10% increase from its cash position at this point in the last election cycle, officials said.

Republicans have a favorable election map this year because they are defending just eight seats in the Senate compared to 26 held by Democrats. But they also face the crosscurrents of an unpopular President Trump and a long history of any president’s party losing seats in midterms.

Steven Law, who oversees the McConnell groups, said Republican donors understand that “the Senate majority represents a critical firewall if we run into trouble this fall” and are providing a steady stream of campaign cash to keep races competitive.

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