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Former President Donald Trump’s fundraising operation has seen a surge in donations during the first quarter of the year, as Democratic Senate and House candidates also reported significant fundraising hauls. The battle for control of Congress is expected to come down to a few key seats in the upcoming election. Democratic incumbents and challengers in the Senate raised millions of dollars in preparation for expensive general election contests, while vulnerable Republican incumbents in the House saw Democratic challengers outpace them in fundraising during the first quarter.

The Trump 47 Committee, a new joint fundraising operation established by Trump with the Republican National Committee and state parties, raised over $23 million in the first quarter, with significant contributions from big donors such as J. Joe Ricketts and Kelly Loeffler. Separate fundraising committees associated with Trump reported raising more than $65 million during the same period. Trump is working to catch up with President Joe Biden’s substantial fundraising advantage, as Biden and the Democratic Party reported bringing in $90 million in March alone.

Several Democratic Senate incumbents and candidates in battleground states posted significant fundraising numbers in the first quarter, with many likely to face wealthy Republican challengers in the fall. Democratic candidates in open battleground House districts also raised substantial sums during the first quarter, outpacing their Republican counterparts in many cases. Self-funding Republican Senate candidates have also made their mark, providing a financial boost to the GOP in key races.

House Democratic candidates in several battleground districts matched their Senate counterparts in fundraising, with top Democratic fundraisers outperforming top Republicans in most “Toss Up” races. A competitive fight is underway for control of the House, with House “squad” members facing strong primary challenges. Some Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker last year are facing primary challenges, with Trump’s endorsement being a valuable asset in GOP primaries.

Notable celebrity donors during the first quarter included actor Sean Penn and “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane, who made donations to various political campaigns. Media personalities also contributed to political campaigns, including former CNN anchor John Avlon’s congressional bid. Former Republican Rep. George Santos, who is challenging an incumbent as an independent, faced federal charges and raised zero dollars in the first quarter of the year. Overall, the fundraising landscape for the upcoming elections is highly competitive, with both parties vying for control of Congress.

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