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POLITICS: PennAve

National GOP raising cash for Montana Senate run by Rep. Steve Daines

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Senate,Mitch McConnell,Montana,2014 Elections,PennAve,Rebecca Berg

The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday will hold its first Washington fundraiser for Rep. Steve Daines, the Montana Republican running to fill the seat being vacated by longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be among those attending the event at NRSC headquarters on Capitol Hill.

The event will be held immediately before the NRSC's Christmas party, according to an invitation obtained by the Washington Examiner. Donations will range from $500 to $1,500 for individuals, or $1,000 to $5,000 for political action committees.

Daines has an early polling advantage over Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh, a Democrat, in a Republican-leaning state. A recent Public Policy Polling survey found Daines leading Walsh 52 percent to 35 percent.

Were Daines to win next year, the seat would be a major pickup for Republicans, who were planning to face former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Schweitzer, a Democrat, decided this summer not to run, to the surprise of many.

The NRSC did its part to boost Daines's fundraising in advance of his candidacy, if by proxy: The NRSC's vice chairman for finance, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, attended a fundraiser for Daines this summer before Daines had officially declared his candidacy.

Among those scheduled to attend the fundraiser are Republican Sens. John Cornyn, of Texas, Jerry Moran, of Kansas, Roy Blunt, of Missouri, James Inhofe, of Oklahoma, Mike Lee, of Utah, Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and David Vitter, of Louisiana.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner