With less than a week until PA’s primary, McGinty has dragged herself into a dead heat with former Congressman Joe Sestak, according to the latest Monmouth Poll.
Behind McGinty’s late revival was a swell of fundraising, with the former Chief of Staff to Gov. Tom Wolf raking in almost $1.8 million in the first three months of 2016 – nearly triple Sestak’s take of $640K.
McGinty closed the gap on Sestak over the first three months of the year, backed by an impressive financial superiority.
McGinty raised $1,779,347.27 and spent almost $2 million during Q1 in her quest to face off against Pat Toomey in November. The former DEP Secretary now has $953,674.09 available to spend in the last few weeks of the primary race.
Sestak has been somewhat thriftier with his money, spending $1,476,423 in the first three months of the year. However, there is much less money coming in the door for the three-star Navy Admiral, as he brought in just $625,024 in Q1.
Still, Sestak has almost double McGinty’s cash stockpile, sitting on $1,733,473.53 as of March 31.
McGinty crushed Sestak with PAC money (though Sestak will invariably wear that badge with pride), $187,803 to $4,141.
McGinty picked up 492 contributions of at least $1,000. 22 donors maxed out in the first quarter of 2016, kicking in $118,800 between them.
She has found widespread support across the country, with 389 large ($1,000+) out-of-state donors contributing $651,150 over the course of her campaign. 211 large donors from Pennsylvania pitched in $427,019.
69 large donors in Philly contributed over $130K, while 21 in Pittsburgh pitched in almost $40K. McGinty also found lucrative support in New York City (48: $118,815), Washington, D.C. (38: $68,302), Boston (14: $24,201) and Denver (17: $19,101).
McGinty also picked up strong support from many of her potential future colleagues: MT Sen. Jon Tester ($10K), RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ($10K), NM Sen. Martin Heinrich ($5K), VA Sen. Mark Warner ($5K), CA Sen. Dianne Feinstein ($5K), MI Sen. Gary Peters ($5K), OR Sen. Jeff Merkley ($5K), VT Sen. Patrick Leahy ($5K), HI Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz ($5K and $3K, respectively), MO Sen. Claire McCaskill ($2,500) and CT Sen. Chris Murphy ($2,500).
PA Sen. Bob Casey also threw $5K behind McGinty’s Senate bid.
McGinty has now raised $669K through ActBlue, a Democratic PAC that channels small donations to candidates throughout the country, while Sestak has brought in $349,630 through the same means.
EMILY’s List, a PAC that supports pro-choice Democratic female candidates, has contributed $165,547, while the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund has funneled another $46K into McGinty’s campaign.
McGinty picked up $10K donations from the Sheet Metal Workers International Association PAC, the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education and the Carpenters & Joiners Union Legislative Improvement Committee.
Sestak’s donor list was much more PA-based than McGinty’s with 362 large donors from the Keystone State chipping in $698,122 so far to his second U.S. Senate campaign. Just 111 large donors from out-of-state appeared on Sestak’s reports, representing over $230K in contributions.
Somewhat surprisingly, Sestak found more large donors in Pittsburgh than he did in Philadelphia. 38 in the Steel City contributed $65,767, while his more usual support base lagged behind, with 31 in the City of Brotherly Love kicking in $60,399.
Sestak found solid support in several other PA towns, including Bryn Mawr (15: $32,245), Media (13: $28,869), West Chester (14: $26,057) and State College (10: $21,668).
Sestak’s only PAC donors were the Duane Morris Government Committee ($2K) and Burghnest ($1,500).
McGinty outspent Sestak by over $500K in the first quarter, with both candidates spending most of their money of ad buys.
McGinty’s campaign paid NYC-based SKDKnickerbocker $1,146,906 for several rounds of TV spots. Santa Monica-based Rapid Returns picked up $71,664 for direct mailers, while another $64,672 came out of the campaign account to pay DC-based Campaign Finance Consultants for fundraising help.
Rising Tide of Washington, D.C. pulled in over $51K for online advertising for McGinty and Peter D. Hart Associates were paid $40,750 for polling work.
McGinty paid out over $221K in wages for 17 campaign staffers over the first three months of the year.
Sestak used $1,067,570 on TV ad buys from Philly’s Dudley Media, while paying Sway of Bethesda, MD $37K for media production.
Sestak paid out $86,784.64 in wages for 18 campaign staffers, though two employees only made it one pay period into Q1.
The former Congressman holds a significant cash advantage over McGinty, but he won’t want to sit on that money too long, with less than a week until the state’s primary.