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Cortez Masto pulls in record $4.4 million in 2022 first quarter fundraising

Jacob Solis
Jacob Solis
Campaign FinanceElection 2022
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Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) raised more than $4.4 million in the first three months of 2022, the largest single-quarter sum raised by any U.S. Senate candidate in Nevada through the 2022 midterm cycle so far.  

Her campaign also touted $11 million in cash on hand, though it did not reveal spending numbers for the quarter. Additional details are expected later this month, following the mid-April reporting deadline with the Federal Election Commission for quarterly finance reports. 

The number far exceeds the previous record set by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who raised just under $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2018. When Cortez Masto was first seeking election to her seat in 2016, she raised just $2 million in the first quarter of that year.

Cortez Masto’s fundraising likely sets the stage for more heavy spending down the electoral stretch. The senator set a record last month by reserving $10 million in advertising for the final two months of the campaign, beginning in September. 

In the absence of any well-funded primary opponents, Cortez Masto has so-far campaigned with biographical ads or television spots touting her work on securing federal COVID relief for Nevada. Those ads began blanketing state airwaves, in both English and Spanish, last month. 

Cortez Masto’s Republican opponents had not released fundraising tallies as of Wednesday. However, the Democrat has consistently outraised Republican opponents, including both former Attorney General Adam Laxalt and veteran and businessman Sam Brown. 

Laxalt has maintained an edge in primary fundraising through the first leg of the campaign, including raising $1.2 million in the last three months of 2021. However, buoyed by small-dollar contributions, Brown’s dark-horse campaign has followed closely behind, posting $1.1 million in fundraising over that same period.

Cortez Masto’s seat is one of just a handful of highly-competitive Senate contests that will determine control of Congress in the midterm elections, alongside fellow Democrats Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA). Neither have revealed their fundraising totals for this past quarter, though the two have often led fundraising efforts among all national Democrats, and both Kelly and Warnock each reported raising more than $9 million in the last quarter of 2021. 

All three races are “toss-ups,” according to the non-partisan Cook Political Report, which tracks the competitiveness of federal elections. Only one Republican, Ron Johnson (R-WI) is also rated as a toss-up, as well as an open seat in Pennsylvania currently held by Republican Pat Toomey. 

A survey from the Democrat-aligned Blueprint Polling last month found Laxalt leading Cortez Masto in a hypothetical head-to-head by 5 points, with a 3.8 point margin of error. However, the poll’s sample included more Republicans (41 percent) than the percentage of registered Republicans in Nevada (30 percent). Another poll in February from The Nevada Independent and OH Predictive Insights found Cortez Masto leading the race by 9 points, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

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