Senate Democratic candidates are raising tons of money. That matters.

Historically, candidates who raise more money increase their chances of winning significantly. This means the more money Democrats are raking in, the greater chance they will have at winning a Senate majority.

Take a look at more than 100 Senate races for which there is polling from January to June of the election year since 2006. For those years, I compared how much money the Democratic and Republican candidates ended up raising from individual donors.

Democratic challengers who outraise Republican incumbents do about 20 points better than people who don’t. Likewise, Republican challengers who outraise Democratic incumbents do about 15 points better than people who don’t.

We don’t know the fundraising hauls for all the candidates yet for 2020 to produce an updated forecast for every seat, but we can make some general points.

The strong fundraising numbers that have been released is in line with what other data points are showing. Mainly, Democrats are doing effectively nationally at this time. You wouldn’t expect Democrats to be pulling in this sort of dough if the national environment wasn’t inside their favor.

More interestingly, money hasn’t just correlated with success historically. It forecasts it, even beyond what the early polling portrays.

Consider a race that other facets (such as polling and the political lean of state) suggest is tied. In this kind of election, a Democrat who raises two times as much as a Republican is forecast to win by 3 points. If the Democrat takes in four times around the Republican, the Democrat would be forecast to win by 5 points.

Relatively small shifts such as for instance these are major considering that many of the now competitive races will likely be based on just a few points in November.

A perfect example of this type of race may be the 2020 Iowa Senate contest. Democrat Theresa Greenfield features a slight advantage in the polls, and she also offers a strong national Democratic environment at her back. Republican Sen. Joni Ernst benefits from the ability of incumbency and the truth that Iowa leans to the right of the nation. All together, these ingredients suggest probably the most likely outcome is a dead-even race when voting begins in the fall.

Greenfield, though, has already announced that she’s raised significantly more than $6 million in the last 3 months, a massive sum for Iowa.

Depending on how much money Ernst takes in, Greenfield’s fundraising might make her the slightest of favorites.

You could easily see this type of scenario playing out across races. Imagine a hypothetical universe where every Democrat raised two times as much as every Republican, as was about the average in 2018.

Given the current polling and other facets, Democrats could be forecast to win two additional seats in such a setting than they’d if the cash race were even.

Two seats could make most of the difference in Senate get a grip on given Democrats’ need for that net pickup of 3 to 4 seats.

Obviously, its not all Democratic candidate is going to raise double the total amount as their opponent. Some will raise more plus some less. We’ll have to observe how much each candidate eventually ends up raising before jumping to too many conclusions.

But for now, it looks best for Democrats.

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