Manchin and Sinema’s fundraising slows as they ponder 2024

Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent late last year, raised $826,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30. That’s 50 percent less than her total from the previous quarter, when she raised almost $1.7 million. She also spent almost all of what she raised, thus her cash on hand is essentially unchanged from the end of the last quarter. And she was again outraised by her challenger, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), this time by a nearly 4:1 margin.

But Sinema is not yet declared a candidate, so in some ways it makes sense that she’s not fundraising like one. She did make a significant $267,000 investment in digital advertising and has been spending on fundraising consulting this quarter, two signs she may be gearing up to run.

Sinema’s candidacy would create a three-way contest against Gallego and Republican Kari Lake, who entered the race last week. Sinema’s team has been quietly preparing for her to run, scouting out donors and ways to build a bipartisan coalition.

“I promised Arizonans to be independent and work with anyone to deliver lasting results,” Sinema said in a statement. “Over the past four years, we’ve helped make a meaningful impact for Arizonans in every corner of our state — and we have the resources to continue our work helping Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families.”

Gallego’s campaign raised over $3 million for the third consecutive quarter. He ended September with $5 million on hand, a little less than half of what Sinema has amassed. Lake did not have to report any third quarter totals because she entered the race in October, after the reporting period. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, Lake’s primary competition, raised $475,000.

Arizona is not a top-tier race for Republicans, and the prospect of Sinema running as an independent makes for an extremely unpredictable contest.

But West Virginia is a prize that Republicans have long been eyeing. Senate Republicans see it, along with Ohio and Montana, as their best path to retake the Senate. All three are states that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020 — West Virginia by nearly 39 points. GOP leaders believe they can flip the state regardless of whether Manchin runs.

Manchin raised $715,000 in the third quarter. That’s noticeably less than the nearly $1.3 million he brought in during the second quarter but more than $371,000 he raised during the first three months of the year.

He outraised both of his opponents. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice raked in $613,000 and Rep. Alex Mooney’s (R-W.Va.) total was $314,000. Neither has more than $2 million in the bank.

Manchin has said he won’t make a decision on reelection before the end of the year. Sinema has until an April filing deadline.

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