WASHINGTON — The political parties, their campaign committees and some of their super PACs faced a Saturday deadline to disclose how much donors gave and how much operatives spent in August. Highlights from the filings:
BILLIONAIRES STILL OPENING WALLETS
Hedge fund executive Tom Steyer continued to funnel cash from his personal fortune to his pro-environment super PAC, NextGen Climate Action. Steyer in August wrote his federal committee a $15 million check as it ramps up a political operation to help candidates who pledge to back legislation fighting climate change.
Steyer has now given $26.6 million this cycle to his efforts, bankrolling it almost entirely on his own.
NextGen's next largest donor in August was a strategic adviser from Berkeley, California, who wrote a $2,500 check.
Democrats' bid to keep their majority in the Senate also got a boost from Chicago billionaire Fred Eychaner. He wrote Senate Majority PAC a $1 million check, taking his giving to the committee to $5 million.
Senate Majority PAC raised close to $6 million last month from donors who face no limits to what they can give. The group, which has deep ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has raised $39 million so far and spent $36 million of it to try to keep Democrats in control of that chamber.
Senate Majority PAC's sister committee, the House Majority PAC, raised $3.9 million.
RNC BEATS DNC
The Republican National Committee again outraised its Democratic rival last month and is sitting on a $3 million lead.
The RNC raised $10.1 million in August and has $14.5 million in the bank to pay for polling, data and get-out-the-vote efforts for November's elections. The filing also shows the RNC spent heavily last month, unleashing almost $9.5 million in spending.
The Democratic National Committee raised almost $7.4 million last month but also owes almost $2 million to vendors. The DNC spent more than $5.8 million last month and has more than $11 million saved.
The RNC has outraised the DNC in 11 of the last 20 months. But the DNC prevailed in six of the first seven months this year.
The RNC has now raised more than $150 million since January 2013. The DNC has now raised almost $133 million.
BUT DEMOCRATS BEST GOP SENATE, HOUSE PANELS
Senate Democrats' campaign arm, defending a narrow majority heading into November's elections, spent more than $14 million last month.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $7.7 million in August and spent almost twice that amount. Despite the aggressive spending, the group still has more than $25.3 million to unleash on ads against Republican candidates who are trying to pick up six seats needed to tip the chamber into GOP control.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $6.1 million in August and spent almost $13 million. The panel still has close to $20 million ready to spend, mostly on negative ads against a handful of endangered Democratic incumbents.
Party committees have now spent more than $153 million on top of what the candidates and their allies have invested.
The Democrats' campaign arm has now outraised Republican efforts in 18 of the previous 20 months.
The Republicans' Senate operation has raised more than $81 million. The Democrats' counterpart has raised $111 million.
HOUSE COMMITTEES HAVE $100M ON HAND
The two party committees tasked with electing House members are sitting on a combined $100 million pile of cash, suggesting voters in the handful of competitive districts will face an onslaught of late political advertising.
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised more than $4 million last month and banked almost $46 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $10 million and has almost $55 million ready to help its candidates.
Democrats have now outraised the Republicans in 18 of the last 20 months despite long odds of tipping control of the chamber away from Republicans.
Republicans are expected to hold onto their majority after November's elections, when all 435 House seats are up for election. Redrawn congressional districts favor Republicans and only a handful of seats are seen as competitive. At the same time, the party that holds the White House tends to lose seats at this point in a president's tenure, and President Barack Obama remains deeply unpopular in many congressional districts.
Even so, the parties have been raising and spending heavily.
In August, the Democrats spent more than $12 million to help House incumbents and candidates. The GOP spent half of that, but $6 million is still twice what it spent in July.
Combined, the two party committees have raised more than $260 million so far and have spent $163 million.
There are currently 233 Republicans and 199 Democrats in the House. Three seats are vacant.
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