A Senate campaign committee raises and spends funds to help elect a specific candidate for the United States Senate. The funders of these campaigns are often corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals. In addition to supporting individual senators, these committees also support broader political parties and organizations.
The history of these committees stretches back to the 1860s, when members of both the Democratic and Republican parties established national fundraising organizations. During the Civil War, these groups expanded their focus to include House and Senate races, helping Republicans win seats from their Democratic rivals in Southern states under Reconstruction.
After the Civil War, some of these groups began to organize state-based fundraising operations, helping to expand the party’s reach and influence in the Senate. The first state-based Republican campaign committee was founded in Texas in 1868. In the same year, some Democrats formed a national organization to promote their senators and candidates.
Despite this, the two parties are locked in a tight battle for control of the upper chamber. While Democratic Senators Darren Booker and Cory Booker are considered safe in their races, the party will need to win several competitive seats to secure their majority. These seats include the ones held by Democrat Ted Cruz in Texas, and Rick Scott in Florida, as well as open ones in Arizona and Tennessee. Other seats that could go either way are those in North Carolina, Alaska and New Hampshire.
Raphael Warnock’s surprise victory in the Georgia runoff will have profound implications legislatively and politically. It will allow the Democrat to solidify his majorities, and it eliminates the need for him to negotiate a power-sharing arrangement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But even if the Democrats do retain their current majority, they’ll face an uphill battle in 2022. They’ll be defending 21 seats, while the GOP will have only 10.
A reelection race is already underway for West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who’s been a frequent critic of the Trump administration. He’s also a steadfast supporter of abortion rights and gay marriage, which puts him at odds with his party’s leadership in the Senate.
His primary opponent, attorney Keith Gross, has launched a blistering attack against him, alluding to his tenure as the chief executive of a hospital chain company involved in Medicare fraud and other misconduct. It’s unclear how much money Gross will put into his bid, but he’s expected to make an impact in the primary.